A recent study by Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) estimates that the air quality in two thirds of Swiss classrooms is inadequate.
The main problem is the build up of CO2. High CO2 concentration affects the concentration of those in the room. It can also provoke head aches and lethargy.
The study, which ran over two years, sampled the air quality in 100 classrooms in the cantons of Bern, Vaud and Graubunden.
FOPH recommends schools do a better job of airing classrooms.
An online simulator shows how the air quality drops rapidly below acceptable levels across a school day if classrooms are not aired. With no airing during the day, a typical Swiss classroom would have good air for only 10% of the day, satisfactory air for another 12% of the day and unacceptably poor air for the remaining 78% of the time. With airing the unacceptably poor percentage drops to 13%.
Under the slogan “Fresh air, clever ideas”, the FOPH calls on teachers, pupils and building managers to improve classroom airing and suggests completely opening all classroom windows during all breaks including before the first class starts.