UTAH'S AIR QUALITY

Project to provide air purifiers in Utah K-12 classrooms

Sep 14, 2022, 1:36 PM | Updated: May 21, 2023, 4:38 pm

A school classroom with chairs and desks...

FILE photo (KSL TV)

(KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Schools throughout Utah can sign up for a new program that will provide air purifiers for all K-12 classrooms.

Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and the Utah Department of Health and Human Services joined forces in a clean air initiative that will place air purifiers in schools across the state, with funding from a grant.

“Even when air pollution levels are low, reducing them further makes students and teachers less likely to require out of patient care and hospitalization, thereby reducing absences because of illness,” Utah Physicians for a Heathy Environment Board Member Dr. E. Tom Nelson said.

Research shows that even a low level of air pollution can affect students learning ability, impairing brain development, cognition, and memory, all while increasing the severity and transmissibility of infectious diseases like COVID-19. The project will make classrooms safer and improve the overall health of students and teachers, as well as students performance and attendance.

“Our school children have suffered a huge setback in their education because of COVID-19, so we should be doing everything we can to help them catch up,” President of UPHE Dr. Brian Moench said.

One study found that air purifiers were more effective in improving academic performance that other standard interventions such as “high dose” tutoring, reducing class size by 30%, or the Head Start program.

Schools and school districts don’t have to do anything but sign up for the program by July 31, 2023.

For more information visit the project website.

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Project to provide air purifiers in Utah K-12 classrooms