Indoor Air Quality Testing Reduces Asthma Triggers
Asthma affects students in classrooms each year. Certain triggers in the indoor environment cause asthma attacks that are severe enough to affect school attendance and cognitive performance. Unfortunately, a cure does not exist for asthma. However, there are medical treatments for the symptoms, as well as recommendations to identify and reduce asthma triggers.
A 2015 study on the association of cognitive function scores and the indoor environment found that building occupants exposed to better indoor air quality had increased cognitive function performance. The study found that even though 90 percent of the cost of a building is focused on its occupants, IAQ is often an afterthought. Even modest improvements to IAQ could result in the improved health and mental functioning of occupants. If this is true for adult office workers, then it might also be true for children. In fact, children are oftentimes more sensitive to these triggers than adults.
Student absenteeism costs the state of Florida $228,557,676 per year. This breaks down to at least $1020 per absent student. There’s no doubt that absence related to asthma contributes to these numbers. If schools reduce asthma triggers, better attendance should follow. In order to reduce asthma triggers, they need to be identified.
Develop an IAQ Plan to Reduce Asthma Triggers
Both the CDC’s National Asthma Control Program (NACP) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommend having a plan for improved asthma/allergen trigger reduction and IAQ. The first step to implementing such a plan is to determine what the asthma triggers exist in the building. It is also important to know that asthma sufferers might react to one asthma trigger or sometimes several triggers. So testing for many sources is key.
Common Asthma Triggers Found in Schools
Reduce asthma trigger by testing for the following:
- Molds and Pollens
- Dust and Dust Mites
- Volatile Organic Compounds
An IAQ testing plan helps determine if any specific asthma triggers exist in the facility. Do it yourself testing, such as the IAQ Screencheck Kits, reduce asthma in a quick and cost-effective way.
Most of the common asthma triggers are well known and can also cause allergic reactions. However, VOCs deserve a more in-depth look at their connection. VOCs are organic chemicals. They exist almost everywhere. VOCs are both natural and manufactured compounds. These include indoor pollutants such as tobacco smoke. Emissions from products used in the building also contain VOCs. These include office equipment, wall coverings/paint, floor coverings, and cleaning products.
After testing the building and HVAC system, a helps with recommendations on the best methods to remove/reduce asthma triggers. This can include Hygienic HVAC System/Duct Cleaning, Mold Remediation, and products such as permanent, on-site, Professional Air Purifiers.
Finally, the repetition of testing and remediation creates a proactive Indoor Air Quality management plan. The result is healthier and higher-performing students, staff, and buildings.
Order your IAQ Test Kits today, Or call us at 727-572-4550 with questions.