Cinnaminson, NJ, August 30th, 2016
August means either back to school or preparing to go back soon for most students across North America. Unfortunately, in some aging schools or in those that have had to delay preventive maintenance work due to shrinking budgets, it could also mean back to indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns for students and faculty.
Just last month, it was reported that a school district in New York declared an emergency to approve a $500,000 project to safely handle lead, asbestos and radon that was recently detected in multiple buildings throughout the district. These and other substances can be factors that impact the air quality and learning environment in schools.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Poor indoor air quality can impact the comfort and health of students and staff, which, in turn, can affect concentration, attendance and student performance. In addition, if schools fail to respond promptly to poor IAQ, students and staff are at an increased risk of short-term health problems, such as fatigue and nausea, as well as long-term problems like asthma.”
IAQ issues can be a concern in not only aging buildings, but also in new or recently renovated schools. Some of the tell-tale signs that health complaints in a school may be indoor air quality related include:
- Health complaints associated with particular times of the day or week.
- Other occupants in the same area experiencing similar problems.
- Health complaints that end when the students or faculty leave the building and recur when they return.
- Students or faculty have recently begun working with new or different materials or equipment.
- New cleaning or pesticide products or practices have been introduced.
- New animals have been introduced into the classroom.
“Air quality issues in schools can be the result of a wide range of conditions and pollutants,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “High humidity levels, temperature fluctuations and inadequate ventilation can be factors, as can pollutants. These may include mold, bacteria, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, pollen, dust mites, animal dander, latex, radon, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, asbestos and lead to name a few.”
EMSL Analytical, Inc. helps to identify IAQ issues by offering air monitoring equipment, comprehensive air testing services and all of the sampling supplies and test kits necessary. They also have sponsored an educational video about IAQ issues in schools that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/8ktQGXR5xPA.
To learn more about this or other air quality and environmental testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com. To view the complete line of indoor environmental test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.