With the COVID 19 virus spreading more easily in enclosed spaces, how can we ensure better sanitary conditions in schools?

The current health crisis has brought Indoor Air Quality issues to the forefront. In schools, maintaining optimal learning conditions has become a real headache. At the beginning of 2022 only 20% of schools, 38% of secondary schools and 54% of high schools were equipped with CO2 sensors. The French Government  has thus released a 20 million euro budget to support local authorities in this area.

The importance of good IAQ in schools

The link between health and Indoor Air Quality is undeniable. Several studies show the particular negative effect on children of a bad Indoor Air Quality:

  • Development of allergies
  • Asthma
  • Headaches

Problems which mechanically can involve disorders of the concentration and thus of the learning.

In addition, for several months now, the transmission of the COVID19 virus has been particularly virulent in recent weeks with the arrival of new variants. It is known that this is largely favored in the presence of a lack of renewal of indoor air. The aeration and ventilation of classrooms is a major issue.


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Poorly adapted buildings

France has nearly 60,000 schools and establishments in the secondary level. The buildings and their equipment are very disparate, some buildings benefit from a recent construction or renovation when some have not been renovated since the 70s. The Air Quality is impacted according to the ventilation system, the quality of materials… 

A study conducted by the Observatory of Indoor Air Quality between 2013 and 2017 in nearly 300 schools revealed that 93% of classrooms have concentrations of fine particles (PM2.5) above the WHO guide value for long-term exposure (10 micrograms per m3). 

The instruction in schools to ventilate regularly is also sometimes more complex to apply than it seems. For example, the anti-suicide prevention plans recommend not to open windows wide on high floors, while the Vigipirate plan recommends not to open windows facing the street on the first floor.

Schools kept open during a pandemic, aging or poorly adapted buildings, how to measure and ensure Air Quality in schools? 

Measuring for better action 

In order to better control Indoor Air Quality in school buildings, we must start by being able to measure it!

Several factors influence IAQ: 

  • temperature 
  • humidity
  • CO2

Measuring these factors allows to: 

  • control the risks of exposure to pollutants 
  • act by ventilating, purifying and reducing the sources of pollution
  • make the users of the building aware of the good practices

Discover our IoT solutions for Indoor Air Quality

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