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Sci Total Environ. 2008 Sep 1;402(2-3):157-62. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.04.046. Epub 2008 Jun 16.

Power quality affects teacher wellbeing and student behavior in three Minnesota Schools.

Author information

1
Environmental and Resource Studies, Trent University, Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 7B8. mhavas@trentu.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Poor power quality (dirty electricity) is ubiquitous especially in schools with fluorescent lights and computers. Previous studies have shown a relationship between power quality and student behavior/teacher health.

OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this study is to determine the ability of power line filters to reduce dirty electricity in a school environment and to document changes in health and behavior among teachers and students.

METHOD:

We installed Graham Stetzer filters and dummy filters and measured power quality in three Minnesota Schools. Teachers completed a daily questionnaire regarding their health and the behavior of their students for an 8-week period. Teachers were unaware of which filters were installed at any one time (single blind study).

RESULTS:

Dirty electricity was reduced by more than 90% in the three schools and during this period teacher health improved as did student behavior in the middle/elementary schools. Headaches, general weakness, dry eyes/mouth, facial flushing, asthma, skin irritations, overall mood including depression and anxiety improved significantly among staff. Of the 44 teachers who participated 64% were better, 30% were worse, and 6% did not change. Behavior of high school students did not improve but elementary/middle school students were more active in class; more responsive, more focused; had fewer health complaints; and had a better overall learning experience.

CONCLUSIONS:

Dirty electricity in schools may be adversely affecting wellbeing of teachers and behavior of their students, especially younger students in middle and elementary school. Power line filters improve power quality and may also protect those who are sensitive to this energy. Work on electric and magnetic field metrics with and without Stetzer filters urgently needs to be carried out to determine just what characteristics of the dirty electricity may be interacting with the people.

PMID:
18556048
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.04.046
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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