ERIC Number: ED427500
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Jan
Causes of Indoor Air Quality Problems in Schools: Summary of Scientific Research.
Bayer, Charlene W.; Crow, Sidney A.; Fischer, John
Research show that one in five U.S. schools has indoor air quality (IAQ) problems; 36 percent have inadequate heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; and there appears to be a correlation between IAQs and the proportion of a school's students coming from low-income households. This report examines the IAQ issue in U.S. public schools and discusses: the IAQ investigations conducted in school facilities; the factors that determine microorganism growth in HVAC systems and production of volatile emissions; humidity control and the impact on IAQ, volatile organic compounds and other chemical compounds that affect IAQ; the control of indoor environments with HVAC systems; and the impact of IAQ on productivity and satisfaction in the learning environment. The research indicates that proper outdoor air ventilation and humidity control are necessary but that too often, in practice, one is obtained at the expense of the other. Additionally, research indicates that IAQ problems in school facilities are preventable by: providing adequate outdoor air ventilation on a continuous basis (15 cfm per student); controlling the space relative humidity between 30 and 60 percent; and providing effective particulate filtration of the outdoor air. (Contains 104 references). (GR)
Descriptors: Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Educational Facilities Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Heating, Humidity, Indoor Air Pollution, Prevention, Public Schools, Research Needs, Ventilation
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Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Energy, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: SEMCO, Inc., Columbia, MO.; Oak Ridge National Lab., TN.