The kids have headed back to school! They spend almost more time at school then they do at home, and you want their school environment to be safe and comfortable. But what if your child’s school was actually doing them more harm than good? Studies have estimated that a third or more of U.S. schools have dust, mold, and other indoor air problems that are serious enough to trigger respiratory and asthma issues in teachers and students.
Funding cutbacks have resulted in less money for the schools to spend on building maintenance and upkeep, and as a result has compromised the indoor air quality. From leaking roofs, unsealed windows, and deteriorating walls and HVAC units, all contribute to the quality of air that’s being breathed in. Researchers at the New York Health Department found a correlation between building maintenance at the public schools and hospitalizations for asthma.
Here are the 5 things to check at school for air safety:
- Mold– Seeing or smelling mold should raise a huge red flag and the source must be found and fixed, and then cleaned by a professional
- Dust– Make sure there is not any dust above or underneath lockers where it can be trapped and easily missed in the cleaning routine. Dust accumulation can be a huge trigger for asthma sufferers
- Idling Buses– Buses and cars idling outside the school have harmful exhaust fumes that can creep through the windows and vents of the building, causing breathing issues for those with allergy and asthma sensitivities
- Heating & A/C Units– Make sure there is not anything obstructing the air flow which can limit the air circulation around the room. Reduction in air flow can also cause condensation which can cause mold problems, which in turn reduces the air quality
- Types of chemicals used for cleaning– Be sure to check if your school is using Certified Green Cleaning Products which are safer for those with allergies and asthma, and if they buy pressed-wood furniture that contains formaldehyde, which can cause asthma sufferers big problems.
Don’t forget to combat the air quality once the kids get home from school, and invest in a high-quality air purifier that has the capability to not only freshen your indoor air, but actually destroy up to 99% of contaminants (including VOCs) in the air and on surfaces.