Air pollution and the school air environment.
AbstractThere is growing concern about the association of school indoor air quality (SIAQ) with asthma, rhinitis and rhinoconjunctivitis.Students and school staff alike deserve the highest standards of school air quality possible thus ensuring a safe and productive environment for our childrens’ education. Existing studies highlighted the presence of several air pollutants present within school classrooms which have a direct association with poor health and student performance. Very little data exists about school air quality in countries situated in subtropical regions including small island nations such as Malta. The most commonly identified pollutants include CO2, CO, volatile organic compounds (VOC), formaldehyde, O3, NO2 , and particulate matter (PM 10, PM 2.5). These have been mainly associated with an increased risk of asthma and rhinitis mainly in atopic pupils after correcting for alternative exposures. Air quality improvement is an essential measure to help prevent respiratory atopic disease in school occupants. The absence of a European SIAQ monitoring programme highlights the urgent need for more research in this field so as to issue the necessary evidence based recommendations specific to the individual countries.
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