Clean air for our kids

Airscan & Belfius join forces for cleaner air in Belgian schools

Today Airscan is proud to announce that she will join forces with Belfius to set up a project focusing on measuring and increasing air quality in schools. Belfius is already the first large bank in Belgium to operate CO2-Neutral, she is actively working on lowering the carbon footprint of the Belgian society. The bank takes another step further by improving air quality, focussing on those who matter most : our children.

Context

Schools are often subject to poor indoor air conditions. Bad ambient air quality and insufficient ventilation are the leading causes of air quality problems in schools. Children spend a large proportion of their time indoors at school and are more vulnerable to indoor air pollution as their lung capacity is still developing. Exposure to air pollution can result in decreased lung capacity and diseases like COPD, lung cancer, Parkinson and Alzeimer. A study by Greenpeace performed in 2017 has already shown, the air quality in Belgian schools is worrying. Only 3% of the schools tested had good air quality, while 61% are considered poor or worse. Moreover, concentrations of individual pollutants were above the legal limit values in some of the schools. With the current reopening of Belgian schools, there is an additional component to be taken into account: hygiene linked to the current Covid-19 pandemic. Scientific reports already confirmed that indoor air quality is a key parameter that affects virus transmission. Moreover, it was shown that the presence of dust particles increases the risks of the virus spread among people (more info).

Clean Air for our Kids!

Phase 1: diagnose

The project will permanently monitor indoor and ambient air quality in a large selection of Belgian schools, with the help of modern sensors that leverage artificial intelligence, cloud technology, mobile apps and Internet of Things (IoT). Teachers at schools will have a real-time insights on air quality and receive an alert notifications when a pollutants’ concentration exceeds the limits defined by the national authorities.

Phase 2: Action

The data that will be collected overtime will be used for the development of an action plan to improve the indoor environment in schools. An individual plan will be designed to provide the best available solution for the specific situation of each school. Improvement actions can vary between recommendations regarding heating, natural or mechanical ventilation or elimination of certain indoor pollution sources. The panel of solutions also includes supplying air purifiers specifically designed for schools. Therefore Airscan has selected the purifiers of the Finnish-Belgian company Genano Technology. These plug and play purifiers (see picture) are already used in more than 3000 classrooms in Finland. They use a combination of electrostatic forces and carbon collection filters that effectively remove dust particles, microbes, volatile organic compounds and harmful gasses.

“When we started measuring Air Quality in schools, we noticed the big challenges relating to air quality in this environement. So far the funding to effectively tackle the problem was the missing part of the puzzle. We are particularly happy with this long term partnership with Belfius as it will allow us to diagnose and improve air quality on a significant scale.” Says Jérôme De Waele, Managing Director of Airscan.

The goals of the project are also perfectly aligned with the policy of Belfius – to be a meaningful and inspiring example for the Belgian society. Belfius will grant the project, and doing so guarantee a safe environment for children in schools.