Several of the City of Espoo's schools participated in a survey that states that it's possible to use air purifiers to alleviate symptoms experienced due to poor indoor air quality. 

Indoor air returned to normal level in schools with air problems with help of air purifiers

According to the preliminary results of the questionnaire related to the project examining the effect of air purifiers on symptoms, being conducted by the City of Espoo Premises Department in collaboration with Genano Oy, it is possible to use air purifiers to alleviate symptoms experienced due to poor indoor air quality. Several of the city’s school properties participated in the survey.

In the first stage of the survey, secondary school pupils and their teachers at Tiistilä school were asked before the installation of air purifiers what health-related symptoms they had suffered due to bad indoor air quality.  The anonymous survey was conducted again after the air purifiers had been taken into use in March 2016, and then again every two to three months. According to the preliminary results, the symptoms experienced had clearly decreased after the air purifiers were introduced.

“Typical symptoms caused by bad indoor air include allergy-type symptoms, such as stuffy nose, cough or irritated eyes. However, bad indoor air quality can also cause symptoms that are more difficult to interpret, such as difficulties in concentrating or tiredness.  According to the results, air purifiers decreased symptoms of both these types,” says Jaakko Salminen, managing director of Genano Oy.

Over 300 secondary pupils and staff members at Tiistilä responded to the first questionnaire rounds.  Approximately 700 elementary and secondary school pupils attend Tiistilä school in Matinkylä. The school has approximately 70 staff.

The survey was also conducted in two large schools in Espoo, which were selected as comparison schools due to their good indoor air quality. Based on these comparison questionnaires, Tiistilä secondary school pupils and staff experience fewer health-related symptoms and the improvement means the air has now reached the level of the comparison schools.  

However, air purifiers are not a permanent solution at Tiistilä school or other schools.

“We use air purifiers specifically as a rapid response measure, and we will be renovating the buildings as soon as it is possible with respect to plans, funding and user’s operations.

Renovations at Tiistilä school will start immediately at the start of the summer holidays,” says Reijo Yrjölä, Construction Manager in the Premises Department of the City of Espoo.

In 2015, the City of Espoo organised a competitive tender for a framework agreement on the use of air purifiers and subsequently signed agreements with three device providers, one of which was Genano Oy. The framework arrangement has proved an important tool due to the continuously increasing challenges related to indoor air. The framework agreement will be valid until 2019.

Genano Oy and the City of Espoo have been collaborating on indoor air issues for several years.