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What is a “Breathing Zone” and Why Your School should Know About it

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

According to a study in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education, nearly one-third of permanent public school building systems were in fair or poor condition. Indoor pollutants in schools included mold, dust, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), radon, lead, asbestos, PCBs, pesticides, secondhand smoke, and others. Some of these pollutants can cause or exacerbate such health issues as allergies, respiratory illnesses like asthma and more that can affect a child into adulthood. (EPA)

That was before the virus hit.

Now schools are rushing to learn and implement ways to keep their students and staff safe inside of school campuses more than ever. Will opening windows and changing out air filters be enough? What about air purification systems or box fans?

Similarly, plexiglass barriers intended to protect from droplet spread can create low flow or dead zones that trap aerosols, again counterintuitively increasing risk.

Also, rooms with high ceilings such as cafeterias and gymnasiums would require a whole different plan based on the square footage, height of the ceilings, and air flow patterns.

So, now that you know it is important, how do you create a “Breathing Zone”?

Creating a safe “Breathing Zone”?

Understanding air flow or a “Breathing Zone” is vital to protect everyone inside of a classroom or school building. According to a Harvard T.H. Chan School for Safety study, the zone can be analyzed by:

  1. Measuring the Classroom Dimensions

  2. Performing Preliminary Audio and Visual Checks

  3. Measuring or Estimating Outdoor Air Ventilation Rate (using one of four methods)

  4. Comparing Results to Targets

  5. If Needed, Considering Supplemental Air Cleaning Strategies to Meet Targets

For example:

Source: Harvard School of Public Health


We Make it Easy for School Administrators

Fortunately, the math can be done for you and not only that, a step-by-step plan on how to implement it and stay current. We do an on-site assessment and come away with a clear-cut way to provide the best air quality possible.

The goal of a healthy HVAC system is to deliver clean, filtered, temperature/humidity adjusted air to room occupants, and evacuate potentially contaminated air before it can affect occupants. We can make that happen.

LifeWingsPP specializes in studying school campuses and providing knowledgeable assessments to aid school boards in reaching the highest level of protection for their students and staff. It defeats the invisible enemy and creates free breathing zones in buildings, reducing anxiety and allowing teachers to teach without fear.

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