Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction


Date of this Version



Deng, S.; Zou, B.; Lau, J. The Adverse Associations of Classrooms’ Indoor Air Quality and Thermal Comfort Conditions on Students’ Illness Related Absenteeism between Heating and Non-Heating Seasons—A Pilot Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 1500. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph 18041500


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(1) The association of the indoor environmental conditions in classrooms with illnessrelated absenteeism (IRA) was not well investigated. In addition, studying the association between heating and non-heating seasons were very limited; (2) To fill this knowledge gap, a research team collected various indoor air quality (IAQ) and thermal comfort conditions (TC) of 85 elementary classrooms in two school districts from the Midwestern United States throughout an academic year; in total, 255 classroom visits were performed. A negative binomial regression model was implied to associate the classroom’s IAQ and TC with IRA, separating for heating and non-heating seasons; (3) During non-heating season, a 3% increase of IRA was estimated with 1,000,000-counts/L increase of particles that had a diameter less than 2.5 µm (PN2.5); during the heating season, a 3% increase of IRA were expected with 100 ppm increase of room averaged CO2 concentration; and (4) These results suggested that the IAQ and TC factors could associated with IRA differently between heating and non-heating seasons.