Air purifier project launched at selected Hertfordshire schools

The council says it deliberately picked schools with poor surrounding air quality
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Classrooms at two schools in Hertfordshire have been fitted with air purifiers, as part of a pilot to see how ‘effective’ and ‘workable’ they could be.

The schools – in Broxbourne and Potters Bar – were chosen for the pilot because of their poor outside air quality and levels of deprivation.

And the pilot will consider whether purifiers should be used more widely in schools and whether they could impact on absence rates.

Hertfordshire County Council officesHertfordshire County Council offices
Hertfordshire County Council offices

On Tuesday the ongoing project was highlighted to a meeting of the county council by executive member for public health and community safety Councillor Morris Bright.

In a written report he told councillors that the purifiers were installed at the two schools in April – with monitors put in place six weeks earlier.

“We have deliberately chosen schools in areas where poor outside air quality and more significant pockets of deprivation are found, improving indoor air quality in schools and potentially reducing harmful particles including pollutants and viruses,” he said.

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“We hope to show that there is benefit to these units being more widelyused in schools and that it may impact on absence rates.”

The air quality monitors have been measuring levels of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as various sizes of particulates temperature and humidity in the schools.

Councillor Bright says the data will be analysed over the summer. And that, he says, could lead to purifiers being offered to schools more widely.

“We hope to have an assessment completed during the school summer holidays and will present the evaluation upon completion,” said Cllr Bright.

“If evidence supports it, we aim to extend the offer out more widely throughout Hertfordshire.”

According to the report, the pilot has been launched by Public Health Emergency Response, in partnership with Public Health protection, air quality and education colleagues.

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