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Air quality in the classrooms: the new air purifier ALANA™ proves its efficiency for back-to-school

TEQOYA designs and manufactures efficient and eco-friendly air purification technologies to clean the air in enclosed spaces 24/7. After more than three years of research and development, TEQOYA launches its new air purifier in partnership with ALDES (the world leader in air quality in the construction sector) to meet the challenges of establishments servicing the public.

The performance and efficiency of the ALANA™ air purifier have been proven through the experimentation conducted in partnership with the commune of Saint Ouen and the RESPIRE association...

salle de classe avec TEQOYA ALANA

Why do an experiment in classrooms?

After the living spaces, it is in classrooms that students are most exposed to pollution, according to a study on daily exposure to ultrafine particles and black carbon in children conducted by ANSES and ADEME (2016). [1]

Insufficient ventilation, poorly maintained ventilation, humidity, cleaning products... are the most common sources of air pollution in classrooms. The damage to children's health can be real and numerous because their lungs are still growing.

In addition, air pollution increases the risk of developing diseases such as allergic rhinitis, and neurodevelopmental disorders ((hyperactivity, migraine...), and can also cause cancer (and also be a factor in obesity).

Indoor air quality testing in Classrooms

Always keen to test TEQOYA solutions in real life, we evaluated the impact of ALANA™ air purifier on air quality in two classrooms of the Anatole France elementary school (Saint-Ouen, Île-de-France) from January to June 2022.

Our objective was to confirm the high performance of our new technology LEAF in situ, and the efficiency of using compact air purifiers distributed in a large space (like a classroom) - rather than a single large device. [2]

SEVERAL small air purifiers are better than ONE large unit!

According to Harvard University and University of Colorado researchers (2021), it is more effective to install several small air purifiers than one large one. Distributing small units evenly helps to achieve a higher air change rate and a homogeneous airflow throughout the room.

“Another recommended measure to prevent the airborne spread of coronavirus in enclosed spaces would be to ensure that the centralized ventilation system in buildings draws in enough fresh air”, declares Memo Cedeño Laurent the director of the Healthy Building Program at Harvard University School of Public Health. [3] This type of system favors air exchange and carries viruses into different rooms.

For the experimentation in the school of Saint Ouen, the protocol of measurements implemented was as rigorous as possible: two contiguous classrooms and very similar in dimensions, exposure, and openings; ideal conditions for the experimentation!

Quick note: the measurement of the PM2.5 index was one of the indoor air quality indicators used during our experiment. Before the air purifiers ALANA™ were put into operation, we observed that the PM2.5 index measured in the classrooms exceeded the threshold recommended by the World Health Organization (5 μg/m3 on average, and 15 μg/m3 over a day): an average of 25 days over 45 school days (see table below). Exceeding the WHO threshold is common to all schools in the Ile-de-France region: according to a study by Respire (2019), more than 93% of the region's 12,000 schools exceed the WHO recommendations. [4]

Zoom on the classrooms of the experimentation

In the interest of transparency, we also point out that the conditions in the classrooms during the period of the experimentation did not facilitate scientific measurements, meaning the comparison of phenomena in strictly identical conditions. Indeed, the level of activity changed and the weather conditions led to the windows being open often. Finally, COVID instructions obliged the teachers to ventilate the classrooms more than normal. This is why we offset this difficulty by using a long-time sample since the experimentation lasted 6 months (3 months without purifier, 3 months with air purifiers ALANA™).

Although the air mixing induced by the opening of the windows favors the entry of the external pollutants, we observed a significant and consistent influence of the air purifiers...

tests purificateur d'air ALANA

This outcome is particularly interesting because it was obtained during a semester when classroom windows were frequently opened while purifiers were still turned on:

  • During the winter months, the windows were open during all inter-class periods, including the mid-day break (COVID instructions).
  • During the warm, sunny spring months and the southwest exposure of the classrooms, both windows were open during breaks, and at least one of them was open during class.

The impact of the air purifiers is therefore highly positive in this context of use. We can reasonably conclude that the reduction of airborne particles would be even greater in an ordinary ventilation context.

Last but not least, the feedback from the teachers was also positive: the acoustic comfort was preserved during the classes (the decibels of the unit are considered acceptable) and the use is considered very simple.

To learn more about: Report on the experiment conducted in the Anatole France elementary school in Saint-Ouen.

Successful results already in 2019

Already in 2019 (way before the beginning of the Covid health crisis), TEQOYA agreed on an experiment in schools with the support of the municipal authorities and ENTRA. For 4 months, our air purifiers were installed and tested in a nursery in Aubervilliers (Ile-de-France region, France). The results proved that air pollution was divided by 3 in classrooms equipped with TEQOYA air purifiers.

tests ioniseur TEQOYA 450

Just like the TEQOYA 450... designed for air purification in establishments servicing the public, ALANA™ is particularly well suited for use in classrooms. ALANA™ is discreet, energy efficient, long-lasting and easy-to-use (no filters to change).

Learn here more about ALANA™ air purifier. If you have any questions, contact us !

Sources

[1] ANSES. " The exposure to ultrafine particles in school-aged children ". Cahier de la recherche 7 - Santé Pollution atmosphérique (anses.fr)

[2] In the scope of the Participatory Budget of the Ile de France Region voted in 2021, the commune of Saint Ouen, RESPIRE and TEQOYA.

[3] In the program T. H. Chan School of Public Health of Harvard (2021): Portable Air Cleaners: Selection and Application Considerations for COVID-19 Risk Reduction - Healthy Buildings (Harvard.edu)

[4] PM2.5 represents the mass concentration of particles with an aerodynamic radius of less than 2.5 micrometers. We recall that the WHO recommends not to exceed 5 μg/m3 on average, and 15 μg/m3 over a day. Air pollution: the vast majority of schools in Île-de-France are above WHO recommendations - Respire (respire-asso.org)

 

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