Carbon Dioxide Monitors for Schools – Room for Improvement

A thought piece from Ralph Izod, Managing Director, Envelo Solutions

Here is an excerpt from a recent article featured in QA Magazine

With news that ‘Classrooms in England are to be supplied with CO2 monitors when state schools and colleges reopen after the summer holidays, to improve ventilation and combat the spread of Covid,’ the government has responded to staff and the unions for schools to be better ventilated. It is widely acknowledged that Coronavirus transmits in the main via airborne particles. Enclosed classrooms, sports halls and restrooms are the perfect breeding ground for transmission of not just Coronavirus but any virus as pupils move in groups from one room to another.

As part of this initiative schools are to be given CO2 monitors. If the levels rise it’s a sign that fresh air is not circulating and it’s time to improve ventilation and remove the stale air.

But is this enough? And is it a practical initiative, one that can be accomplished by schools with relative ease?

I don’t think it is. There are other factors that should also be considered as well as practical low-cost solutions available that could really improve the health of the classroom environment that are potentially being overlooked.

Firstly, the issue of ventilation. If a school is based in a rural setting with little outdoor pollution including an absence of traffic fumes and noxious substances (Volatile Organic Compounds, Nitrous Oxides and PM2.5s as examples) opening the doors and windows is a breeze. In with the fresh air and out with the virus. But consider this. As many scientific studies in the last 10 years have shown, outdoor contaminations can cause high air pollution inside, entering the building through the windows, doors, and ventilation systems. Schools directly adjacent to busy roads are likely to have poor air quality in most areas if the air circulation system is not good. Opening the windows in these circumstances presents a moral conundrum and can also increase noise pollution.

Not every classroom has windows that can open, or where air can circulate well, and for those with a mixture, pupils will be moving from one well ventilated room to another where the air quality is poor because ventilation is minimal.

Firstly, the issue of ventilation…..

Read the full article in QA Magazine >