Dyson Launches Indoor Air Quality Education Initiative in Dubai

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Round table discussion on the impact of indoor air quality on children to launch educational programme in schools

Renowned British technology company Dyson today launched an indoor air quality initiative which will see schools across Dubai participate in a clean air program aimed at raising the awareness of indoor air quality through fun and visual activities, students will get hands on and interactive access to simple changes they can be making in the classroom and at home.

Dyson is launching the educational programme in schools to help educate children on the importance of indoor quality. Although specific research on indoor air quality in the Middle East is less advanced than that on outdoor air quality; a recent study by a team from the Faculty of Engineering and IT at British University, Dubai found that the total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) found in classrooms were more than two and half times the acceptable levels as set out by Dubai Municipality. According to Dubai Municipality standards, the concentration of total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) should not exceed 300ug/m3, with values greater than 666 ug/m3 thought to increase the likelihood of eye, skin, nose and throat irritations.

Launching the initiative at a roundtable discussion on indoor air quality in Dubai Healthcare City, Evan Stevens, Head of Engineering, Environmental Control at Dyson, commented: “Children are more vulnerable to indoor air pollution than adults as they are still developing their immune systems. On average, a UAE school child spends over one thousand hours per year in a classroom environment, indoor air quality in school is equally important as home environment. With this initiative we will work to educate schoolchildren on indoor air quality, potential pollution sources and what can be done to keep indoor air cleaner.”

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Evan Stevens was in Dubai especially for the launch of the initiative and was on hand to discuss his findings on indoor air quality and its impact on health and well-being around the world. Speaking to participants, he cited a recent study from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which found that indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 times and occasionally more than 100 times higher than outdoor levels.

There are many factors affecting the indoor air quality at school, one of the major sources will be coming from the idle engine of schools buses or cars parking near the school entrance. Inside the classroom, cleaning products, glue, paint and pressed wood furnitures give off unwanted pollutants. Some ways to maintain good indoor air quality that were discussed at the panel discussion includes regular cleaning, strong and hygienic ventilation systems, and avoid using chemical-based air fresheners/products.
The Clean Air initiative program will cover various age groups, the program is free of charge and teachers or educators are encouraged to contact Dyson Dubai for more details. The pilot phase of the programme will begin at Dubai British School on April 9th, with further schools joining the programme thereafter.

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