IAQ in schools: what challenges and solutions?

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Thanks to the pollutant measurement kits, the CO2 displays, the EOLIS Air Manager professional air purifier and its exclusive connected monitoring system, control from A to Z the indoor air quality of a school or secondary education establishment.

The Covid-19 pandemic spares no sector. In particular, the health situation has brought back to the forefront the public health issue of the quality of the indoor air (IAQ) we breathe, especially for the most sensitive publics such as children.

As a specialist in indoor air quality since 2009, NatéoSanté sheds light on the regulations in force in schools and secondary schools by providing you with concrete answers as to the existing possibilities to improve this IAQ. The objective: to protect pupils and teachers as well as all non-teaching staff.

Which indoor air quality regulation in schools?

Indoor air quality monitoring has been mandatory in France since 1 January 2018 (decree n°2011-1728) in establishments open to the public including pre-schools, primary schools and nurseries.

From 1 January 2020, secondary schools are also subject to IAQ control.

It is based on two main points of vigilance:

  • Mandatory evaluation of ventilation facilities,
  • Control of indoor air quality, with the implementation of an action plan based on self-monitoring and the application of simple gestures and charters, or a measurement campaign for three pollutants: formaldehyde, benzene and CO2.
IAQ monitoring is mandatory in establishments open to public from 1 January 2018

NatéoSanté is at your side in monitoring and measuring the levels of these pollutants by offering you indoor air quality analysis kits.

These pollutants are emitted in particular by furniture, glues, household products, etc., all of which are harmful compounds present in classrooms and canteens. They directly affect the health of students, teachers and non-teaching staff.

To go further and act directly on the elimination of these Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs, we recommend that you equip your premises with a professional air purifier such as EOLIS Air Manager.

Designed and manufactured in France by NatéoSanté, the purifier is highly effective against micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses), Volatile Organic Compounds (solvents, hydrocarbons, paints, glues) or particles (PM10 to PM2.5). It thus eliminates 99.97% of the sources of indoor air pollution.

It has also been tested by an independent laboratory to prove its effectiveness against establishments open to public.

The successful results are as follows:

  • Benzene concentration divided by 7
  • Formaldehyde concentration divided by 5.

What is the impact of a high carbon dioxyd level and how can it be monitored?

It has been known since last summer, following several studies, that the virus responsible for Covid-19 is also transmitted in the air by aerosols, even becoming the primary source of contamination in closed indoor spaces.

Indeed, “when we speak and breathe, we emit large droplets and small particles, […] the lighter ones floating in the air. These particles can carry SARS-CoV-2 and persist for a long time in a closed space, even if the individual is not coughing,” said an article in Le Monde on 23 April.

This is problematic because if the concentration of CO2 in the air of a room is high, it means that the airborne particles persist in the air and are likely to be breathed in by its occupants. Bertrand Maury, a member of the CO2 Project, explains in the same publication that “aeration is essential to reduce the amount of aerosols in enclosed spaces and therefore contamination, especially in schools“.

On the other hand, a high level of CO2 in the air will lead to disturbances for the occupants of the room, such as headaches, reduced concentration or irritation of the mucous membranes, which can affect the learning conditions of children.

This is where CO2 measuring devices come into their own as indicators of the containment index. Thanks to their integrated sensors, they indicate the level of carbon dioxide in the air of a room and can give an alert in case of high concentration, informing of the immediate need to open the windows to renew the air.

The French High Council for Public Health (Haut Conseil de la Santé Publique – HCSP) recommends that all places open to the public should be ventilated as soon as this level reaches 800ppm.

Aeration is the first pillar of the “aerate, ventilate, purify” triptych, three actions that guarantee to improve the indoor air quality in your spaces.

CO2 displays show how well a room is aerated

In the Paris region, an action plan has been launched to equip schools with CO2 monitors: “As requested by the teachers’ unions, between March and May we will have deployed 500 CO2 sensors in Parisian schools and nurseries for healthy ventilation of classrooms and to reduce the transmission of Covid-19“, explains Anne Souyris, deputy mayor of Paris responsible for health, in the Express.

NatéoSanté has a range of two CO2 measuring devices, which clearly display the concentration of carbon dioxide in real time to tell you the state of the ventilation quality of the room in which they are located.

Is a professional air purifier suitable for schools, secondary schools and highschools?

EOLIS Air Manager, effective against coronaviruses

In addition to the application of barrier measures (wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, physical distancing), the monitoring of CO2 levels and the proper aeration of classrooms and common areas, a professional air purifier with a HEPA filter will act against the airborne spread of coronavirus in schools.

It will fit perfectly into your overall protocol for protecting against the spread of Covid-19 in secondary schools and educational institutions.

Several studies, including one conducted in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (AURA) region by the VirPath laboratory, have effectively demonstrated that air purifiers with HEPA filtration were effective in capturing coronaviruses, including SARS-COV-2.

A professional air purifier such as EOLIS Air Manager protects and reassures students and staff

In October 2020, Laurent Wauquiez, president of the regional council of the AURA region, mobilised 10 million euros to install air purifiers in the region’s schools, which now represents more than 2,000 schools equipped. It is now the turn of the Ile-de-France region to launch a financing plan to equip its schools.

NatéoSanté was chosen by these two local authorities to participate in the installation of professional air purifiers, with EOLIS Air Manager, 99.6% effective against coronavirus.

Eco-designed (low environmental impact throughout its life cycle) and with proven efficacy and safety, it is the essential tool in your overall health safety system.

In times of deconfinement and gradual return to normal life, it makes it possible to secure enclosed and collective areas and to welcome the public in optimal conditions, by reassuring pupils, teachers, parents and all the staff working in your establishment.

Professional air purifier and monitoring system: how to protect students and staff with real-time information across a school?

Supervise your various spaces equipped with purifiers to ensure that the air is always purified

To monitor the IAQ of your various classrooms and equipped spaces via a connected network, NatéoSanté has developed an exclusive multi-site monitoring system. You can thus view, on a single screen, your entire EOLIS Air Manager fleet to ensure the good quality of the indoor air in each room (canteen, self-service, classroom, library, games room, etc.) in real time

You are also notified directly if filters, sensors or maintenance is required on a unit. This instant notification of the need to change filters ensures that your air purifiers are always optimally working.

Thanks to its 360° offer, NatéoSanté supports you in the implementation of solutions to guarantee a purified air and a permanent protection for your pupils and students, your teachers and your staff.