Ventilation

Fresh thinking about fresh air

It is time to clean up the air in buildings

 


 

May 29th 2021 | words 581

 

 

 

 

IN 1842 EDWIN CHADWICK, a British social reformer, published his Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population. By documenting evidence of social and geographic inequalities in health, Chadwick showed that poor sanitation was associated with poor health. The report eventually led British cities to organise clean water supplies and to centralise their sewage systems, in turn reducing the prevalence of infectious diseases, in particular cholera. Similar reforms around the world in the 20th century tackled food safety and outdoor-air pollution. Now a new public-health priority is becoming apparent: making indoor air cleaner.

 

Take schools. They are chronically under-ventilated, according to the Lancet covid-19 commission. A study of 100 American classrooms found 87 with worryingly low ventilation rates. Across Denmark, France, Italy, Norway and Sweden, researchers found that indoor-air quality in 66% of classrooms fell short of healthy standards. In America nearly one child in 13 has asthmaa condition triggered by allergens often found in schools. Outdoor-air pollution can penetrate inside buildingschildhood exposure can affect neurodevelopment and academic performance, and cause cancer.

  

 

The problem extends well beyond classrooms. Many people spend more than 90% of their time indoors. Researchers have linked under-ventilated spaces in buildings to a range of ailmentsheadaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, coughs, dizziness, nausea, and irritation of eye, nose, throat and skin. Poor ventilation has been blamed for increased absences from work, decreased productivity and asthma.

 

The pandemic has brought a new urgency to the matter. The virus which causes covid-19 spreads between people less by close contact and infected surfaces and more by hitching a ride on aerosol particles from peoples lungs that can linger in the air of an ill-ventilated room.

 

Indoor-air quality has attracted little government attention. But achieving clean, pathogen-free air in buildings and indoor public spaces is possible. The first step is to give people more information on how well-ventilated their air is. Carbon-dioxide concentrations are a good proxy for ventilation, and cheap sensors to detect this gas in rooms could provide occupants with useful data on when to open windows or upgrade their air-conditioning systems. National indoor-air-quality standards would help. One way to enforce them could be through ventilation certificates for buildings, similar to food-hygiene certificates that already exist for restaurants.

 

The bill for all this need not be huge. A recent study found that raising the standard of ventilation in all American elementary and secondary schools to the minimum level would cost less than 0.1% of the countrys typical public spending on education. President Joe Bidens American Rescue Plan assigns $123bn to improving school infrastructure and mentions ventilation as a priority. Other countries should follow suit.

 

More investment would be money well spent. Better indoor air boosts academic performancemaths and reading scores go up, and pupils are measurably more attentive in class. Office-workers benefit, too. Researchers have found the cognitive scores of people in well-ventilated offices are 61% higher than those of workers in conventional office set-ups.

 

Ventilation is the forgotten part of the agenda for improved public health. Chadwicks report on sanitation lifted peoples expectation that the water coming out of their taps would be clean. Covid-19 should lead policymakers to ensure, belatedly, that the same is true for the air in peoples buildings. 

 

 

Vocabulary

 

prevalent

prevalent / prevlnt / 

adj. 

~ (among sb) | ~ (in sb / sth) that exists or is very common at a particular time or in a particular place

SYN common , widespread 

a prevalent view   

 

These prejudices are particularly prevalent among people living in the North.   

 

prevalence / -ns / noun [U]

 

cholera

cholera / klr; NAmE kl- /

noun [U]

a disease caught from infected water that causes  severe diarrhoea and vomiting and often causes death

 

 

allergen

allergen / ldn; NAmE lrdn / 

noun 

a substance that causes an allergy 

,() 

 

ailment

ailment / eilmnt / 

noun 

an illness that is not very serious

childhood / common / minor ailments   

// 

-- note at disease 

 

 

nausea

nausea / nzi; nsi / 

noun [U]

the feeling that you have when you want to vomit , for example because you are ill / sick or are disgusted by sth

A wave of nausea swept over her.  

  

Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms.   

-- see also ad nauseam 

 

pathogen

pathogen / pdn / 

noun (technical ) a thing that causes disease

pathogenic / -denik / adj. 

 

proxy

proxy / prksi; NAmE prksi /

noun (pl. -ies)

(technical )

something that you use to represent sth else that you are trying to measure or calculate

(),

The number of patients on a doctor's list was seen as a good proxy for assessing how hard they work.   

 

follow suit

to follow in the same pattern; to follow someone else's example. (From card games.)

 Mary went to work for a bank, and Jane followed suit. Now they are both head cashiers. The Smiths went out to dinner, but the Browns didn't follow suit. They stayed home.

 










\n

Economist | Fresh thinking about fresh air

 

Ventilation

Fresh thinking about fresh air

It is time to clean up the air in buildings

 


 

May 29th 2021 | words 581

 

 

 

 

IN 1842 EDWIN CHADWICK, a British social reformer, published his Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population. By documenting evidence of social and geographic inequalities in health, Chadwick showed that poor sanitation was associated with poor health. The report eventually led British cities to organise clean water supplies and to centralise their sewage systems, in turn reducing the prevalence of infectious diseases, in particular cholera. Similar reforms around the world in the 20th century tackled food safety and outdoor-air pollution. Now a new public-health priority is becoming apparent: making indoor air cleaner.

 

Take schools. They are chronically under-ventilated, according to the Lancet covid-19 commission. A study of 100 American classrooms found 87 with worryingly low ventilation rates. Across Denmark, France, Italy, Norway and Sweden, researchers found that indoor-air quality in 66% of classrooms fell short of healthy standards. In America nearly one child in 13 has asthmaa condition triggered by allergens often found in schools. Outdoor-air pollution can penetrate inside buildingschildhood exposure can affect neurodevelopment and academic performance, and cause cancer.

  

 

The problem extends well beyond classrooms. Many people spend more than 90% of their time indoors. Researchers have linked under-ventilated spaces in buildings to a range of ailmentsheadaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, coughs, dizziness, nausea, and irritation of eye, nose, throat and skin. Poor ventilation has been blamed for increased absences from work, decreased productivity and asthma.

 

The pandemic has brought a new urgency to the matter. The virus which causes covid-19 spreads between people less by close contact and infected surfaces and more by hitching a ride on aerosol particles from peoples lungs that can linger in the air of an ill-ventilated room.

 

Indoor-air quality has attracted little government attention. But achieving clean, pathogen-free air in buildings and indoor public spaces is possible. The first step is to give people more information on how well-ventilated their air is. Carbon-dioxide concentrations are a good proxy for ventilation, and cheap sensors to detect this gas in rooms could provide occupants with useful data on when to open windows or upgrade their air-conditioning systems. National indoor-air-quality standards would help. One way to enforce them could be through ventilation certificates for buildings, similar to food-hygiene certificates that already exist for restaurants.

 

The bill for all this need not be huge. A recent study found that raising the standard of ventilation in all American elementary and secondary schools to the minimum level would cost less than 0.1% of the countrys typical public spending on education. President Joe Bidens American Rescue Plan assigns $123bn to improving school infrastructure and mentions ventilation as a priority. Other countries should follow suit.

 

More investment would be money well spent. Better indoor air boosts academic performancemaths and reading scores go up, and pupils are measurably more attentive in class. Office-workers benefit, too. Researchers have found the cognitive scores of people in well-ventilated offices are 61% higher than those of workers in conventional office set-ups.

 

Ventilation is the forgotten part of the agenda for improved public health. Chadwicks report on sanitation lifted peoples expectation that the water coming out of their taps would be clean. Covid-19 should lead policymakers to ensure, belatedly, that the same is true for the air in peoples buildings. 

 

 

Vocabulary

 

prevalent

prevalent / prevlnt / 

adj. 

~ (among sb) | ~ (in sb / sth) that exists or is very common at a particular time or in a particular place

SYN common , widespread 

a prevalent view   

 

These prejudices are particularly prevalent among people living in the North.   

 

prevalence / -ns / noun [U]

 

cholera

cholera / klr; NAmE kl- /

noun [U]

a disease caught from infected water that causes  severe diarrhoea and vomiting and often causes death

 

 

allergen

allergen / ldn; NAmE lrdn / 

noun 

a substance that causes an allergy 

,() 

 

ailment

ailment / eilmnt / 

noun 

an illness that is not very serious

childhood / common / minor ailments   

// 

-- note at disease 

 

 

nausea

nausea / nzi; nsi / 

noun [U]

the feeling that you have when you want to vomit , for example because you are ill / sick or are disgusted by sth

A wave of nausea swept over her.  

  

Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms.   

-- see also ad nauseam 

 

pathogen

pathogen / pdn / 

noun (technical ) a thing that causes disease

pathogenic / -denik / adj. 

 

proxy

proxy / prksi; NAmE prksi /

noun (pl. -ies)

(technical )

something that you use to represent sth else that you are trying to measure or calculate

(),

The number of patients on a doctor's list was seen as a good proxy for assessing how hard they work.   

 

follow suit

to follow in the same pattern; to follow someone else's example. (From card games.)

 Mary went to work for a bank, and Jane followed suit. Now they are both head cashiers. The Smiths went out to dinner, but the Browns didn't follow suit. They stayed home.

 










\n

No comments:

Post a Comment