Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the Classroom
CO2 has long been recognised as a workplace hazard at high concentrations. It is naturally present in the air we breathe and is not harmful at low concentrations. As the concentration CO2 in air rises it can cause headaches, dizziness, confusion and (at high concentrations) loss of consciousness. The air we breathe out is mostly carbon dioxide, so when a lot of people are gathered in the same room CO2 levels increase and air quality quickly deteriorates.
The law requires employers to ensure an adequate supply of fresh air in the workplace and obviously this is vital in the classroom environment. Recent studies have shown that CO2 concentration can have dramatic effects on students well-being, levels of concentration, learning capacity and ultimately exam results. Many schools have been found to have natural poor natural ventilation that could not provide enough fresh air during the day. It is not unusual for excess C02 levels to be recorded at schools with mechanical ventilation, due to incorrect use of the systems.
Visual Air Quality Monitoring System
The SoundAir can be hung on the classroom wall and the non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) technology continuously monitors levels of CO2 in the environment. A flashing red light is shown as soon as the concentration of CO2 in the room gets too high (usually above 1000 parts per million), indicating that action is needed to improve ventilation. Levels can be set between 400-2000PPM. This simple, effective device can have a dramatic effect on improving the classroom environment.
Air quality is more important than ever at the moment. The HSE recommend using CO2 monitoring to identify poorly ventilated areas during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow proactive improvements to be made. Good ventilation reduces the concentration of the virus in the air and reduces the risks from airborne transmission after someone with the virus has occupied an enclosed area.