Focus on indoor environmental quality key for returning students and teachers


Students and teachers in many parts of the country have already returned to class, while others begin the new school year after Labor Day. Regardless of when school starts, the quality of the indoor environment (IEQ) in classrooms and other places of learning is an essential component of everyone’s well-being and ability to learn.

Even with additional government funding to improve HVAC systems to combat the pandemic, many schools, colleges and universities face myriad challenges when it comes to providing a healthy learning environment. Over the years, many have had reduced or limited maintenance and operating budgets. In some cases, this has resulted in a lack of preventative building maintenance and delayed repairs, which can lead to IEQ issues. A poor IEQ is not just a comfort issue, exposure to high levels of particulates, chemicals or biological contaminants can lead to health issues and learning difficulties.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

Evidence from studies of schools and office buildings shows that various environmental conditions are strongly associated with the incidence of measurable adverse health effects, and that indoor air quality problems can lead to increased absences due to respiratory infections, allergic diseases caused by biological contaminants or adverse reactions to chemicals used in the building.

“Last summer saw an increase in COVID-19 cases in many parts of the country,” said CTSI President Frank Selamie. “School administrators and facility managers are responsible for creating healthy indoor environmental conditions. Emphasis on proper ventilation and filtration for air quality, as well as surface cleaning and disinfection procedures will be key. Even flushing building water systems to minimize Legionella exposure risks in closed or barely used facilities during the summer months are significant.

CTSI’s building science, infection control, and indoor environmental quality professionals have decades of experience helping schools, colleges, and universities create optimal indoor conditions. With offices in New York and Florida serving clients nationwide, CTSI provides air, surface and water analysis and consulting services. Their professionals identify and mitigate the risks of exposure to a wide range of potential microbial, chemical and even radiological hazards.

To learn more about this or other services related to building science, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, infection control, environment, health and security, please visit www.ctsiweb.comemail [email protected] or call (212) 971-7016.

About CTSI
Founded in 1992, Consulting & Testing Services, Inc. (CTSI) was founded on a strong commitment: to provide efficient and expert services to clients based on professionalism, innovation and cost-effective expert solutions. This commitment has been reinforced by CTSI’s reputation for fostering relationships with clients across all sectors of the environmental, health, safety and construction industries. CTSI prides itself on utilizing high quality service based on recommendations and concise solutions from its diverse team of employees and professionals to the most pressing dilemmas. The company operates offices in New York and Florida that serve clients across the United States.

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