By Morgan Morris, Director of Marketing, CO2Meter, Inc.
One Volusia County School has found that focusing on Indoor Air Quality monitoring in the classroom helps students become aware of the effects that high concentrations of CO2 can have on a their health and overall well-being.
Mr. Smith, a teacher at a local Volusia County School would agree that, "The increasing interest on the topic of Indoor Air Quality in classrooms, is an area of concern that often goes unnoticed."
CO2Meter decided to contact a few local schools to promote education on proper indoor air quality monitoring as well as devices for IAQ research.
The CO2 monitor that was used is the XT-10 Rechargeable CO2 Monitor and Data Logger which provides effective air quality management and can increase overall productivity and wellness in the classroom.
Many studies have shown the negative impact of poor indoor air quality in classrooms. A recent study at Aarhus University demonstrates the effect of poor air quality in classrooms negatively impacting overall student performance and test scores.
The research experiment focused on the exposure of four classrooms at two Aarhus schools, at different levels of fresh air while students completed testing in Danish and mathematics.
The study demonstrated that "When the classrooms increased the supply of fresh air, the students managed up to seven percent better than when they worked with the tasks in their usual indoor climate. The survey also shows that the students did not even notice that they were barely so sharp in the poorer indoor climate."
View the entire Aarhus research study here.
As more and more research surfaces on the negative effects of student testing in poor indoor air quality conditions more schools districts like Volusia County will decide to test CO2 monitoring as an effective way of improving student performance.
The results, did not surprise us.
Mr. Smith discovered that during a one week period of actively monitoring the CO2 levels in the 1800 sq. ft classroom, the results varied dependent upon the number of students active in his classroom.
Prior to monitoring, CO2Meter manually calibrated the XT-10 in fresh outdoor ambient air to ensure that the monitor was set to 400ppm before starting the assessment.
Mr. Smith noticed that the carbon dioxide levels increased dramatically during the middle of the day, when all 23 of his students were present and engaged in full collaborative activity.
During this time, the levels displayed between 2,000-2500 ppm. According to the ASHRAE standard these levels of CO2 can produce the most significant increase in drowsiness, irritation, headache, increased respiratory illness, and diminished cognitive abilities.
According to Mr. Smith it was only after the students left for the day that the monitor would read lower concentration which displayed 1,200-1,500 ppm, still indicating poor indoor air quality with a need for proper ventilation.
What we do know from this basic research is that the topic of indoor air quality in educational institutions is one that needs more awareness and research.
Proper indoor air quality is a resource that many tend to take for granted. Properly monitoring and effectively analyzing CO2 and IAQ measurements are the most effective method of improving student achievement and health.