Did you know that indoor air pollution affects students’ learning and health? The EPA classified radon, a naturally occurring gas, as the second-leading cause of lung cancer. Legionnaires’ disease, a bacterial infection caused by poorly maintained air conditioning and heating systems, is associated with high levels of indoor particulate pollution. While student comfort directly impacts learning, research shows that high indoor particulate pollution negatively impacts student performance.
Impact of indoor air pollution on student’s productivity:
Indoor air quality in schools affects several factors, including a student’s ability to learn and concentrate. It can also decrease energy levels and mood. Those exposed to poor indoor air quality often report feeling mentally confused and reduced performance. Studies show that a typical student’s test scores suffer during high indoor particulate pollution periods. Poor air quality also leads to personality changes, reduced memory, and slower motor responses.
Pollution in outdoor air:
Pollution in outdoor air is affected by anthropogenic activities like burning wood and producing electricity. These activities emit gases like nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are harmful to humans. Indoor air pollution increases when schools don’t properly ventilate and are not well-ventilated. Unfortunately, many buildings from the seventies were built to keep outdoor pollution and trap it inside, increasing indoor pollution.
In urban environments, however, schools cannot open all their windows. Not only are schools susceptible to air pollution, but also noise. Therefore, some schools have installed hybrid ventilation systems to combat these issues. These systems are comprised of low-powered fans and do not have the same effect as a fresh-air system. Nonetheless, they do work well and do reduce student absenteeism.
Effects of poor indoor air quality on student’s cognition:
Researchers have been looking at the effect of poor indoor air quality on the brain to understand whether it affects students’ cognitive performance. One study found that particulate matter in the air at a chess tournament caused students to make more mistakes. Another study by economists at the London School of Economics found that students performed worse in exam rooms with higher air particulate levels.
While poor indoor air quality affects everyone, children are particularly susceptible to the negative impact. Their developing bodies are more sensitive to the effects of poor air, and a lack of fresh air can have long-term health consequences. Children exposed to stale air have a higher risk of asthma and health problems. This can negatively affect both teachers and students. Additionally, students with asthma or allergies may be particularly affected by poor indoor air quality.
Effects of poor indoor air quality on student health:
Studies show that improved indoor air quality improves the health of teachers, students, and staff. Poor air quality affects the learning environment and increases the risk of illness and absenteeism. Poor air quality can also aggravate allergies and asthma. Poor air quality may also contribute to classroom distractions and reduce student engagement. Here are some of the effects of poor air quality in schools:
Disadvantages of poor air indoors:
One of the most common adverse health effects of poor indoor air quality in schools is headaches. Research conducted by the National Headache Foundation has shown a connection between poor air quality and headaches. Although these headaches can be attributed to other factors, they may indicate a problem in the school. The school nurse may notice more headaches among students than usual. In such cases, a school nurse can take steps to reduce the headache problem.
Miguel Gabriel is a research-based content writer. He has worked in various healthcare, technology, and finance industries. He is currently working as a writer in Research Prospect, famous for dissertation writing services and Report writing services. When Miguel is not writing or researching, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He also loves travelling and learning about new cultures.