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Title: Do indoor environments in schools influence student performance? A review of the literature

Abstract

Limited research is available on potential adverse effects of school environments on academic performance, despite strong public concern. We examine the scientific evidence relevant to this relationship by reviewing available research relating schools and other indoor environments to human performance or attendance. As a primary focus, we critically review evidence for direct relationships between indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in buildings and performance or attendance. As a secondary focus, we summarize, without critique, evidence on potential connections indirectly linking IEQ to performance or attendance: relationships between IEQ and health, between health and performance or attendance, and between attendance and performance. The most persuasive direct evidence showed increases in indoor concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and outdoor concentrations of several specific pollutants to be related to reduced school attendance. The most persuasive indirect evidence showed indoor dampness and microbiologic pollutants to be related to asthma and respiratory infections, which have in turn been related to reduced performance and attendance. Furthermore, a substantial scientific literature links poor IEQ (e.g., low ventilation rate, excess moisture or formaldehyde) with respiratory and other health effects in children and adults. Overall, evidence suggests that poor IEQ in schools can influence the performance and attendance of students, primarily throughmore » health effects from indoor pollutants. Also, inadequate IEQ in schools seems sufficiently common to merit strong public concern. Evidence is available to justify (1) immediate actions to protect IEQ in schools and (2) focused research on exposures, prevention, and causation, to better guide policies and actions on IEQ in schools.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute for Standards and Technology, National Science and Technology Council. Indoor Health and Productivity Project
OSTI Identifier:
842506
Report Number(s):
LBNL-51780
R&D Project: 43DH01; TRN: US200516%%72
DOE Contract Number:  
AC03-76SF00098
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Journal Publication Date: 01/2005
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; ADULTS; ASTHMA; CHILDREN; EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES; ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY; FORMALDEHYDE; MOISTURE; NITROGEN DIOXIDE; PERFORMANCE; POLLUTANTS; VENTILATION

Citation Formats

Mendell, Mark J, and Heath, Garvin A. Do indoor environments in schools influence student performance? A review of the literature. United States: N. p., 2004. Web.
Mendell, Mark J, & Heath, Garvin A. Do indoor environments in schools influence student performance? A review of the literature. United States.
Mendell, Mark J, and Heath, Garvin A. Wed . "Do indoor environments in schools influence student performance? A review of the literature". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/842506.
@article{osti_842506,
title = {Do indoor environments in schools influence student performance? A review of the literature},
author = {Mendell, Mark J and Heath, Garvin A},
abstractNote = {Limited research is available on potential adverse effects of school environments on academic performance, despite strong public concern. We examine the scientific evidence relevant to this relationship by reviewing available research relating schools and other indoor environments to human performance or attendance. As a primary focus, we critically review evidence for direct relationships between indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in buildings and performance or attendance. As a secondary focus, we summarize, without critique, evidence on potential connections indirectly linking IEQ to performance or attendance: relationships between IEQ and health, between health and performance or attendance, and between attendance and performance. The most persuasive direct evidence showed increases in indoor concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and outdoor concentrations of several specific pollutants to be related to reduced school attendance. The most persuasive indirect evidence showed indoor dampness and microbiologic pollutants to be related to asthma and respiratory infections, which have in turn been related to reduced performance and attendance. Furthermore, a substantial scientific literature links poor IEQ (e.g., low ventilation rate, excess moisture or formaldehyde) with respiratory and other health effects in children and adults. Overall, evidence suggests that poor IEQ in schools can influence the performance and attendance of students, primarily through health effects from indoor pollutants. Also, inadequate IEQ in schools seems sufficiently common to merit strong public concern. Evidence is available to justify (1) immediate actions to protect IEQ in schools and (2) focused research on exposures, prevention, and causation, to better guide policies and actions on IEQ in schools.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2004},
month = {11}
}