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Indoor Air. 2015 Apr;25(2):157-67. doi: 10.1111/ina.12136. Epub 2014 Jul 14.

Classroom conditions and CO2 concentrations and teacher health symptom reporting in 10 New York State Schools.

Author information

1
New York State Department of Health Empire State Plaza, Center for Environmental Health, Albany, NY, USA.

Abstract

This study assessed the relationship between teacher-reported symptoms and classroom carbon dioxide (CO2 ) concentrations. Previous studies have suggested that poor indoor ventilation can result in higher levels of indoor pollutants, which may affect student and teacher health. Ten schools (9 elementary, 1 combined middle/high school) in eight New York State school districts were visited over a 4-month period in 2010. Carbon dioxide concentrations were measured in classrooms over 48-h, and teachers completed surveys assessing demographic information and self-reported symptoms experienced during the current school year. Data from 64 classrooms (ranging from 1 to 9 per school) were linked with 68 teacher surveys (for four classrooms, two surveys were returned). Overall, approximately 20% of the measured classroom CO2 concentrations were above 1000 parts per million (ppm), ranging from 352 to 1591 ppm. In multivariate analyses, the odds of reporting neuro-physiologic (i.e., headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating) symptoms among teachers significantly increased (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.02-1.64) for every 100 ppm increase in maximum classroom CO2 concentrations and were non-significantly increased in classrooms with above-median proportions of CO2 concentrations greater than 1000 ppm (OR = 2.26, 95% CI = 0.72-7.12).

KEYWORDS:

Carbon dioxide; Health; Indoor environmental quality; School; Symptoms; Teacher

PMID:
24920413
DOI:
10.1111/ina.12136
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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