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Monitoring indoor air quality in French schools and day-care centers

Abstract : Indoor air quality monitoring in public premises, especially those hosting vulnerable populations such as children, was introduced in the second French national environment and health action plan and then regulated by the first 'Grenelle Environnement' law, on August 3, 2009. A national pilot monitoring survey of indoor air quality in 310 French schools and day-care centers was performed in two phases from 2009 to 2011. This article is dedicated to the results of the first phase (2009 to 2010, in 160 schools and day-care centers), and another article is in preparation about the whole survey results. Formaldehyde, benzene, and air stuffiness were the targeted compounds. They were measured for 1-2 weeks during heating and non-heating seasons in each investigated building. The results of the first phase are presented in this article. They show, referring to the management values suggested by the French committee for public health, that air quality is acceptable in most establishments tested. Nonetheless, a few cases required additional investigations or corrective measures. Furthermore, the air stuffiness (based on carbon dioxide measurements) was found to be very high in 16% of the classrooms (up to 25% in elementary schools). In 47% of the elementary schools, at least one classroom had very high air stuffiness. The mayors and school principals were informed and provided with means to identify the main sources of pollution and to implement remediation actions. The outcomes of this research have led to another step toward mandatory indoor air quality monitoring of public premises in France. France is the first country to implement a routine and mandatory assessment of air quality in public buildings accommodating vulnerable people.
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Nicolas Michelot, Caroline Marchand, Olivier Ramalho, Véronique Delmas, Marie Carrega. Monitoring indoor air quality in French schools and day-care centers. HVAC&R Research, Taylor & Francis, 2013, 19 (8), pp.1083-1089. ⟨10.1080/10789669.2013.812498⟩. ⟨ineris-00963481⟩



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