According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the air inside your facility may have two to five times more pollutants than the air outside. In some cases, that number is over 100 times more. Given the fact that most people will spend roughly 90% of their lives indoors, it’s important to make sure that indoor air quality remains high.
There are few places where indoor air quality is more important than inside educational institutions. That’s why, in this post, we explore the importance of indoor air quality and how it can be improved inside your school.
How Serious Are Indoor Air Quality Issues?
The EPA, in conjunction with its Science Advisory Board, has named indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to the public’s health. Maintaining good indoor air quality is an important factor in helping schools to achieve their primary goal of educating students.
Pollutants that affect indoor air quality can also lead to long- and short-term health problems for both students and faculty. This can include anything from headaches and coughing to, in rare cases, dangerous conditions such as carbon monoxide poisoning.
But even allergens such as dust or pollen can lead to medical issues, especially for those suffering from asthma. According to the EPA, asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism due to chronic illness.
To keep attendance and performance high, it’s important that your school has a good indoor air quality.
Solutions for Indoor Air Quality Issues
Having a quality HVAC system is vital for maintaining good indoor air quality inside your school. However, that’s not the only solution for your indoor air quality issues. There may be other factors contributing to the level of pollution inside your school, and unless these issues are dealt with, you’ll only be solving part of the problem.
One common cause of poor indoor air quality is the thoughtless selection of products and materials to be used in the school. Synthetic building materials, for example, can increase the level of indoor air pollutants, as can housekeeping supplies like cleaners and other chemicals.
To limit the number of air pollutants, you should use products that have limited effects on the environment as well as human health. Products that use recycled materials are good as well as products that strive to conserve water and energy.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a great option when selecting building materials because of its zero volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions rate.
Using HDPE to Improve Air Quality in Your School
HDPE is a strong and naturally germ-resistant material that resists scratches, dents, rust, corrosion, mold, mildew, and graffiti. It can be used in a wide variety of applications, including bathroom partitions, lockers, shower stalls, and bathroom vanities. However, the main benefit that schools can gain from using HDPE is improved indoor air quality.
At Scranton Products, our HDPE products are GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meaning they’ve been rigorously tested and proven to exhibit important safety factors, making them suitable for use in schools and healthcare facilities. They’re made from recycled materials and contain no harmful VOCs.
Learn more about our HDPE and why it’s the best material choice for bathrooms and lockers.