New York 1/17/2012 2:13:01 AM
News / Green

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports: Poor Indoor Air Quality in Schools Sickens Students

Dr. Rajiv Sahay, FIAS, laboratory director at EDLab, an AIHA and CDC Elite lab stated that they too have “found a direct correlation between school deferred maintenance and an increase occupant symptoms in teachers and children.”

CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported this past weekend the extreme dire condition of Americas’ schools and the health hazards posed by poor indoor air quality (IAQ).

According to CNN an estimated 14 million American children attend public schools that are in urgent need of extensive repair or replacement and have unhealthy environmental conditions, including poor air quality, unsafe drinking water and inadequate safety systems.

A national survey of school nurses found that 40 percent knew children and staff adversely affected by indoor pollutants

Indoor air affects more than health. A growing body of research suggests students also perform better in schools with healthier air.

"If you get an unhealthy building, you're not going to have a successful school," said Lily Eskelsen, vice president of the National Education Association, the largest teachers' union in the United States.  "Asthma is the number one chronic illness that keeps kids out of school, and it's growing," Eskelsen added.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicates about one in 10 children in the United States now has asthma, which causes them to miss an average of four days of school a year.

According to, Dr. John Santilli, a Connecticut allergist, says he has treated dozens of students sickened by school air. Even when children don't miss school, he said, the medications they take for asthma and conditions like rhinitis, an allergic reaction to mold or dust, can make it harder for them to do their best work. "They're on antihistamines, they're on nasal sprays, they're on asthma medications, and this limits their ability to perform," Santilli said. "These kids can't concentrate. They can't focus on what's going on."  Dr. Santilli says about 20% to 30% of people are susceptible to mold or dust, which triggers an allergic reaction. The resulting symptoms can include itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, headaches, fatigue, even memory problems and slowed thinking.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states that poor indoor air quality can cause illness requiring absence from school, and can cause acute health symptoms that decrease performance while at school.  Researchers at the New York state Health Department found a correlation between building maintenance at the public schools and hospitalizations for asthma.

On a positive note, there are some school districts that are taking a proactive role in IAQ maintenance. Charlotte County School District in Florida, is doing their part and have implemented a "Green HVAC Cleaning" program to not only save energy but also to improve indoor air quality and mitigate long-term health risks and allergies associated with indoor air pollutants.

This program introduces a chemical free coil cleaning process called PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning a safe and effective cleaning process used to save energy and create a healthy learning environment for students, school staff and visitors.

As a part of this initiative, the Charlotte County School District has contracted with Pure Air Control Services a national leading indoor environmental contractor with over 25 years of building IAQ experience.  Because the PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning program is totally GREEN (NO CHEMICALS) students, school staff and visitors don’t have to worry about potential dangerous chemicals or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) entering into the air or water system.

Don Terry, Manager of HVAC Maintenance noted that “not only are we saving energy, but we are creating a healthy learning environment for our students and faculty.”

Pure Air Control Services’ Building Health Check (BHC) division, a nationally known indoor environmental quality consulting firm provides quick and inexpensive ways to determine baseline IEQ conditions of schools for mold, bacteria, mycotoxins, chemicals, allergens, formaldehyde and other contaminants in the air.

Dr. Rajiv Sahay, FIAS, laboratory Director at EDLab, an AIHA and CDC Elite lab stated that they too have “found a direct correlation between school deferred maintenance and an increase occupant symptoms in teachers and children.”

To discuss ways to determine your schools baseline IEQ conditions and how to create a Healthy Learning Environment call Pure Air Control Services today at 1-800-422-7873.

About Pure Air Control Services:

Founded in 1984 by Alan Wozniak, President/CEO in what began as a small mechanical contracting business has grown into an award winning, industry leading indoor air quality (IAQ) service company serving many fortune 500 corporations, school boards, universities, county, city, state and federal governments and consumers across the US.  The firm has serviced over 600 million square feet of indoor environments in over 10,000 facilities.

Pure Air Control Services nationally performed IAQ services include: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check; an AIHA accredited Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; and Duct Cleaning & Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services. The company’s expanding client roster includes the General Services Administration (GSA); Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Florida State University (FSU), Allstate Insurance; Carrier Air Conditioning; Naval Air Warfare Center, Orlando; and Naval Air Station - King's Bay, Georgia, and many other Fortune 500 companies, school boards, and city, state, and county governments, making Pure Air the reliable industry leader.

For more information, visit the company’s web site at http://www.pureaircontrols.comor contact: Alan Wozniak or Cy Garner 1-800-422-PURE ext 802 or 804 respectively.