While the Covid19 pandemic has put concerns related to indoor air quality (IAQ) on the front page, our desire to monitor, measure and manage IAQ shouldn't end as the pandemic comes to a close.
That's because of a clear relationship between high levels of CO2 and cognitive and learning outcomes that will continue in our classrooms and workplaces well beyond Covid19.
This 2015 research by Harvard professor Joseph Allen et al. is a great starting point to better understand this relationship. Of note, the research finds that “cognitive scores were 50% lower when the participants were exposed to 1,400ppm of CO2 compared with 550ppm during a working day”.
And as the charts below highlight, there’s an uncanny relationship between high levels of CO2 and declining performance. It begs the question of how many children are in sub-optimal learning conditions that could be improved with a $200 investment into a CO2 monitor?
So while today we’re understandably focused on CO2 and the risks of airborne Covid19 transmission, the longer-term impacts of high CO2 levels in our classrooms and workplaces should be an equal priority with an even greater return on investment.