Breathing problems are widespread in schools, study shows.

A recent survey of school-aged children in Ohio showed that almost four in 10 fourth-graders said they had asthma symptoms, while only one in 10 had an official diagnosis of asthma by a doctor.

According to an article in the Dispatch, the research took indoor and outdoor air quality into account and included more than 1,050 children at 13 central Ohio schools.

The goal of the study was to pinpoint where asthma is most prevalent and develop ways to make schools healthier.

The data is still being analyzed, but preliminary findings already highlight the connection between schools and asthma, researchers say.

The survey contained questions pertaining to the child’s breathing (is it noisy or wheezy?), whether the child found it difficult to take a deep breath or stop coughing.

An average of 37 percent of children answered with “sometimes” or “a lot” to three or more to these questions, which gives them a high asthma score. It doesn’t mean they all have asthma, the experts say, but it could mean they are not getting the appropriate medical care.

The preliminary findings already offer some clues as to how schools can improve their indoor air quality and become healthier:

  • Eliminate aerosol cleaners
  • Ban markers that aren’t water-based
  • Clean up dusty piles of paper
  • Stop idling buses in front of schools
  • Properly filter air inside of schools

Almost all of the schools in the study had a problem with ventilation.

IAQ in schools gets poor grade

It is not a big secret that most schools could use some help in improving their indoor air quality.

Most ventilation systems are simply not enough to provide adequate air exchanges and filtered air to the students, who could be experiencing health effects or suffer in terms of concentration and productivity.

Electrocorp offers simple yet efficient air filtration solutions with its product line of air cleaners for schools and universities.

The air cleaners feature a complete air filtration system with many pounds of activated carbon (for the adsorption of chemicals, gases, odors and fumes) plus HEPA (for particles, dust, allergens and pathogens) plus UV (to neutralize biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and mold).

The air cleaners are designed for quiet, 24/7 operation and come in different sizes and models to address specific IAQ requirements.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.