From the EPA: Health and Achievement
Why is indoor air quality an important component of a healthy school environment?
Good indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools is a critical component of a healthy and comfortable learning environment. IAQ affects the health, productivity, performance, and comfort of students, teachers and staff.
When there is poor IAQ in a school building, students and staff may suffer fromcommon symptoms of respiratory infections and allergic or other adverse health reactions. Leaky roofs; problems with heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; insufficient cleaning or excessive use of toxic cleaning chemicals; and other environmental issues can lead to poor IAQ and trigger health problems likeasthma and allergies. Therefore, addressing environmental health risks comprehensively in schools includes managing asthma, which affects 7 million children nationwide.
Student performance and teacher and staff productivity can be improved by managing the environmental quality of school facilities. The IAQ Tools for SchoolsFramework for Effective School IAQ Management and Action Kit offer comprehensive guidance for districts just beginning to address IAQ or those already working on IAQ management.
Good IAQ improves a student’s:
Good IAQ helps schools create an environment in which they can meet their core mission — educating children.
- Ability to Perform: Research shows that a school’s physical environment can affect academic performance. Studies demonstrate a connection between IAQ improvements, such as increasing fresh air ventilation and removing the source pollutants, and improved academic performance. Controlled studies show that students perform school work faster as ventilation rates increase. The performance of teachers and staff also improves with higher ventilation rates.
- Test Scores: Students in classrooms with higher fresh air ventilation rates tend to achieve higher scores on standardized tests in math and reading than students in poorly ventilated classrooms.
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- Improved Academic Performance Evidence from Scientific Literature