The Prime Minister’s decree was published in the Lovtidende of 3 August, with which “Guidelines for technical specifications regarding the introduction of mobile cleaning devices and fixed ventilation systems and minimum standards for air quality in school environments” are adopted. This is a much anticipated document, especially by school leaders, as already announced by the Orizzonte Scuola in mid-July.
“To improve the management of school environments and limit possible health risks – we read on the document expected for months – it is important to ensure good air quality in school environments, to be aware of the sources of chemical pollutants and pathogens, both internal and external, to manage activities, to the number of residents, to the nature and configuration of the rooms, preventive measures, etc. All of these variables can significantly affect the air quality in a classroom, as well as the use of sanitation, cleaning/ventilation devices“.
“The use of the aforementioned devices – we are still reading – is only beneficial if it involves an improvement of the indoor air. It is e.g. possible that the simple ventilation of the classrooms through aopening windows can significantly improve air qualitythat promotes dilution and reduction of both chemical agents released inside (e.g. from materials, furniture and finishes, teaching equipment, cleaning agents, etc.) and viruses and bacteria released by occupants“.
“In other words – explain the experts who dealt with the guidelines – It is recommended that the use of additional sanitation, purification and ventilation devices be considered only when the measures indicated above in an exemplary manner have been identified and implemented and, nevertheless, it has been demonstrated that the air quality is not sufficient“.
“Neither natural nor mechanical ventilation – the document confirms – they can only prevent infection and must be used in conjunction with other protective measures as part of a risk reduction strategy. The mere presence of a mechanical ventilation system, even if it is equipped with a filtration system, does not completely guarantee the risk of transmission of the virus, but rather reduces the probability.“.
Multifunction devices can also be used (e.g. tools that guarantee both air exchange and/or particle filtration and/or reduction of the pathogen load and/or reduction of organic substances or other chemical pollutants) also combined with products/systems for surface remediation.
Additional requirements to be considered are: easy to use and install; low activation costs, maintenance operations to guarantee the initial and continuous performance of the devices (eg reduced electrical consumption and/or reduced costs of components, disposal of filters, lamps, etc.); low noise emission levels/classes; minimal environmental impact (e.g. replacement of filters, lamps and sensors).
The selected devices must always be accompanied by documentation attesting to specific tests that demonstrate: efficiency and safety under the conditions of use, in environments similar to the school environments in which they intend to install (e.g. volume of environments tested, air exchange conditions, occupancy model); duration of operation that affects the ability to lower the concentration of pollutants; frequency of maintenance for proper operation; noise level / class dB, during operation at maximum air flow.
Back to the classroom, guidelines for ventilation in schools: expert advice [SCARICA RELAZIONE TECNICA in PDF]