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|Title: ||Indoor Air Quality in Primary Schools|
|Authors: ||Freitas, Maria do Carmo|
Almeida, Susana Marta
|Keywords: ||Determinantes da Saúde e da Doença|
Indoor Air Quality
|Issue Date: ||Aug-2011|
|Citation: ||Advanced Topics in Environmental Health and Air Pollution Case Studies (Anca Maria Moldoveanu, ed.) 2011, InTech: 361-384|
|Abstract: ||Clean air is a basic requirement of life (World Health Organization, 2010). The Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has been the object of several studies due to an increasing concern within the scientific community on the effects of indoor air quality upon health, especially as people tend to spend more time indoors than outdoors (Franck et al., 2011; Canha et al., 2010;
WHO, 2010; Environmental Protection Agency, 2010; Saliba et al., 2009; Fraga et al., 2008; Fromme et al., 2007; Guo et al., 2004; Kosonen, 2004; Lee et al., 2002a; Lee et al., 2002b; Carrer et al., 2002; Lee et al., 2001; Li et al., 2001; Wilson & Spengler, 1996; Allen & Miguel, 1995; Jenkins et al., 1992; WHO, n.d.). The quality of air inside homes, offices, schools or other private and public buildings is an essential determinant of healthy life and people’s well-being (WHO, 2010).
People can be exposed to contaminants by inhalation, ingestion and dermal contact. In the past, scientists have paid much attention to the study of exposure to outdoor air contaminants, because they have realised the seriousness of outdoor air pollution problems.
However, each indoor microenvironment has unique characteristics, determined by the
local outdoor air, specific building characteristics and indoor activities (Pegas et al, 2010).
Indeed, hazardous substances are emitted from buildings, construction materials and indoor equipment or due to human activities indoors (WHO, 2010; Carrer et al., 2002).
Reports about buildings with air-related problems have received increasing attention since the 1970s (Spengler & Sexton, 1983; Hodgson, 1992). In an indoor environment, dust on floors and other surfaces contains minerals, metals, fibres from textiles, paper, and insulation material, particles from tobacco smoke, including polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAH’s). For this reason, the indoor environment is cleaned to maintain an acceptable level of perceived cleanliness, to prevent surface degradation, to control potential risk of infection
from microorganisms, and to control dust exposure in general (Wolkoff et al., 1998). All of these pollutants could cause significant damage to health globally (WHO, 2010).The IAQ in school buildings is expected to be a key role player in the assessment of the effects of the children personal exposure to air pollution as children spend at least a third of their time
inside school buildings, that is, approximately seven or more hours a day in school (Almeida et al., 2010; EPA, 2010; Pegas et al., 2010; Wheeler et al., 2009; Ramachandran et al., 2005). Poor
IAQ can affect scholarly performance and attendance (Daisey et al. 2003; Godoi et al. 2009).
Hence, several studies about air quality in schools have recently been published (Goyal &
Khare, 2009; Tippayawong et al., 2009; Fraga et al., 2008; Fromme et al., 2007; Hwang et al., 2006). Environmental asthma triggers commonly found in school buildings include respiratory viruses; cockroaches and other pests; mold resulting from excess moisture in the building; dander from animals in the classroom; and dander brought on the clothing from animals at home. Second-hand smoke and dust mites are other known environmental asthma triggers found in schools. Children with asthma may be affected by other pollutants from sources
inside schools, such as unvented stoves or heaters and common products including chemicals, cleaning agents, perfumes, pesticides and sprays. Indoor Air Quality problems in schools may be even more serious than in other categories of buildings, due to higher occupant density and insufficient outside air supply, aggravated by
frequent poor construction and/or maintenance of school buildings (Pegas et al., 2010).
Schools are seen as particularly likely to have environmental deficiencies because chronic shortages of funding contribute to inadequate operation and maintenance of facilities (Mendell & Heath, 2005). Previous studies showed the poor indoor environmental quality at schools may be explained by: (1) insufficient ventilation in schools, specially in winter, (2) infrequently and not thoroughly cleaned indoor surfaces, and (3) a large number of students in relation to room area and volume, with constant re-suspension of particles from room
surfaces (Janssen et al., 1999).
Children constitute a sensitive group with higher risk than adults (Stranger et al., 2007a) because children are particularly vulnerable to pollutants due to their undeveloped airways (Stranger et al., 2007a; Mendell et al., 2005). Moreover, children have greater susceptibility to some environmental pollutants than adults, because they breathe higher volumes of air
relative to their body weights and their tissues and organs are actively growing (Mendell & Heath, 2005). The effects of air pollution on children have been growing (Khan et al., 2007) and one of the consequences is the increase of the prevalence of allergic rhinitis (ISAAC, 1998).
The chemical and microbiological parameters required by the Portuguese Legislation for
IAQ monitoring purposes are: carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3),
formaldehyde (HCHO), volatiles organic compound (VOCs), bacteria and fungi (DL n.º
|Publisher version: ||http://www.intechopen.com/articles/show/title/indoor-air-quality-in-primary-schools|
|Appears in Collections:||DEP - Capítulos (ou partes) de livros|
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