Indoor Air Quality Issues Plague Toronto Schools

Few people realize just how important the air that we breathe is. Not only can it have long-term health effects, but it also can cause short-term cognitive issues. Recent testing done at over 100 schools in the Toronto area showed that almost half tested positive for elevated carbon dioxide levels. Indoor air quality is extremely important to our everyday health, and it takes quality technicians to test levels and bring them down to acceptable numbers.

What the tests found

In general, we recommend that CO2 concentrations never exceed 1000 parts per million. Testing at schools showed that 46 out of 106 tested for numbers far above this. A manager at Toronto Public Health said that ideal classroom levels would be between 800 and 1000 parts per million. This means that our schools are usually devoid of fresh air for our students and faculty to breathe. With the amount of time that they spend indoors at school, you can see how this could be a problem.

What causes these issues?

Most CO2 actually comes from our bodies. The main cause for the concentration is natural breathing. It is a by-product of respiration. The reason that there is so much stale, stuffy air inside is usually due to poor ventilation. Outdated buildings and air ventilation systems in our public schools are a pressing issue, as well as the general apathy toward controlling the levels of pollutants in the air that we breathe.

What are the effects of poor air?

Sadly, the effects can be harmful. Many of the students and faculty claim that the air is too stale and dirty. Many have complained of headaches and say they cannot focus after spending too much time indoors. To make it worse, it could make it difficult to learn in the long term. A test even showed severe cognitive effects take hold at 2500 parts per million with effects still present as low as 1000.

What this study shows is that even our public officials and public at large are not aware of the effects indoor air pollution. This proves that we need to focus more on providing quality air to breathe and proper ventilation. After quality air testing services, many schools came back to acceptable levels. Breathing in large amounts of CO2 can produce harmful effects on learning and our health in general.


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