The health and comfort of students and teachers plays a significant role in the learning, attitude and overall performance of a school.
With students spending upwards of six hours a day in the classroom, mischievous students with detention even longer, and most teachers even longer still, having good indoor air quality in the classroom is crucial.
One of the biggest contributors to poor air quality is the paint used on the walls and ceilings of classrooms, and more specifically the chemicals emitted from these paints. Possibly the most harmful chemicals found in paints are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
VOCs are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that vaporise into the air as paint dries. These VOC are emitted up to five years after paint has been applied, with VOC levels rising over time air quality decreases.
VOCs can have adverse effects, both short and long term, on the health of those exposed. The known health effects include headaches, dizziness, and nausea, as well exacerbating pre-existing conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and asthma. VOCs are also suspected of being carcinogenic.
VOCs are also a major concern for the environment, having been found to be a major contributing factor to the production of ozone. As more has become known about VOCs, and concerns regarding the impact on health and the environment have heightened, the development and availability of low and even no VOC paints over the past decade has increased.
Having well maintained school buildings and grounds is essential for a healthy learning environment, as well as keeping a good reputation, and regular painting of both the interior and exterior of school plays an important part in this.
Utilising low or no VOC paint services enables schools to maintain a high standard in appearance and improve their contributions to a sustainable future, without putting at risk the health and wellbeing of students and staff.
Improving indoor air quality has been shown to have a positive impact on student health, productivity, attendance and test scores, and engaging with experts for school painting is a small investment that can reap great rewards.