The effects of electrostatic particle filtration and supply-air filter condition in classrooms on the performance of schoolwork by children (RP-1257)
Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article – Annual report year: 2008
Two independent field intervention experiments involving a total of about 190 pupils were carried out in winter and early spring of 2005 in five pairs of mechanically ventilated classrooms that received 100% outdoor air. Each pair of classrooms was located in a different static air cleaners were installed in classrooms and either operated or disabled to modify particle concentrations while the performance of schoolwork was measured. In one school, the used supply-air filters in a ventilation system without recirculation were also replaced with new ones to modify classroom air quality, while the filters in use in other schools were not changed. The conditions were established for one week at a time in a blind crossover design with repeated measures on ten-to-twelve-year-old children. Pupils performed six exercises exemplifying different aspects of schoolwork as part of normal lessons and indicated their environmental perceptions and the intensity of any symptoms. A sensory panel of adults judged the air quality in the classrooms soon after the pupils left. Operating the electrostatic air cleaners considerably reduced the concentration of particles in the classrooms. The effect was greater the lower the outdoor air supply rate. There were no consistent effects of this reduction on the performance of schoolwork, on the children's perception of the classroom environment, on symptom intensiiy, or on air quality as perceived by the sensory panel. This suggests there are no short-term (acute) effects of particle effects were inconsistent, removal outside the pollen season. When new filters were installed, the e although this is believed to be due to sequential and unbalanced presentation of filter conditions and to the fact that the used filters retained very little dust.