Keeping air quality safer for children: ACOEM installs first Healthy Schools Index in Asia at Bangkok school
Every child should feel safe and healthy at school, no matter where that school is located. In Bangkok, Thailand, where air pollution can be problematic especially during the winter months from December to February, ACOEM has recently installed the first Healthy Schools Index (HSI) in Asia. The system gives parents and caregivers reassurance that their child is protected against potentially harmful environmental conditions.
ACOEM Healthy Schools Index (HSI) relies on the accuracy of an AQMesh™ sensor (pictured above) to relay time-sensitive, vital data regarding air quality and environmental conditions at Saint Gabriel’s College in Bangkok.
ACOEM’s priority has always been to help communities live safer and healthier lives and that is definitely the case when it comes to the air that our children breathe every day. The management and parents of Saint Gabriel’s College, one of the largest and most prestigious day schools in Thailand, had been expressing concern over their students’ exposure to air pollution for several years. On occasions, the school had been forced to close due to excessive pollution.
The value of hyperlocal air quality data
Located in the Dusit district of downtown Bangkok, Saint Gabriel’s College has responsibility for some 5,000 primary and secondary level boys. There are three reference-quality ambient air quality monitoring stations (AQMS) located within two kilometres of the school campus, but relying on the data from those stations was not providing localised air quality data that the school required to make informed decisions about student exposure in real-time.
ACOEM Asia COO, Patrice Pischedda approached the school with the proposition of installing ACOEM Healthy Schools Index (HSI) as the best solution to implement. In addition, he also consulted with Bangkok’s Pollution Control Department, which already utilises ACOEM sensors and analysers in its AQMS because Saint Gabriel’s HSI sensor would be calibrated against their reference-grade AQMS equipment.
Multi-parameter monitoring at your fingertips
HSI gives school administrators, teachers and parents access to precise information about environmental pollution levels in and around their school via any connected device.
A simple-to-use app uses a traffic-light alert system to relay data captured by a hyperlocal and highly accurate AQMesh™ sensor that has been installed on a balcony of the school at the first-floor level.
Example of ACOEM Healthy Schools Index (HSI) mobile phone user-interface.
ACOEM Healthy Schools Index (HSI) provides crucial data on:
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) – which can irritate the human respiratory system;
- Ozone (O3) – which can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath throat irritation and lung damage;
- Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM5) – which can affect eyes, nose, and lungs, and worsen conditions like asthma and heart disease; and
- Particulate Matter 10 (PM10) – which can lead to respiratory symptoms, especially coughing and can increase mortality rates.
Protecting communities from pollution
In the case of Saint Gabriel’s College, the HSI allows them to effectively manage their tiered approach to student, staff and visitor safety:
- Level one – Mandate to wear masks whilst outside or high-risk students to stay indoors;
- Level two – Cease all outdoor activities like sport; and
- Level three – Activate indoor air pollution countermeasures.
(L to R) Patrice Pischedda, ACOEM Asia COO; Brother Manit Sakhontawat and Miss Pannapa Laowittayanurak from Saint Gabriel’s College; and Apinan Chaoomsaisiri from AM Acoustics Co, authorised ACOEM 01dB distributor in Thailand.
“Commissioning a Healthy Schools Index at Saint Gabriel’s College is just one way that we at ACOEM can honour our commitment to giving back to the communities we serve,” said Patrice Pischedda.
“Ideally, we would like to roll out HSI networks across Asia, especially in larger cities impacted by environmental pollution. We are looking forward to working closely with the school over the next 12 months to assess the benefits it has brought to their protocols and the overall health of its students and staff,” he added.
For more information about how ACOEM Healthy Schools Index can help protect your children’s schools and community, please visit our website, download a copy of the ACOEM Healthy Schools Index brochure or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.