Two Beijing schools have installed equipment that allows them to measure campus air quality in real-time, in an effort to prevent the spread of airborne illnesses and determine if children should play outside. If the one-year trail period is successful it will be applied to all Beijing schools, according to the Beijing Health Inspection Institute.
Fangcaodi International School of Beijing and another (that asked to remain anonymous) can monitor carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methanol, PM10 and PM2.5 levels. Authorities have established 10 monitoring sites at two schools, including 8 spots for indoor air quality monitoring and 2 for outdoors.
“We installed the air quality monitoring system in early September in the school according to the requirement of the health authorities,” said Liu (who would only provide her surname), vice-principal of Fangcaodi International School in Beijing.
In order to give a more vivid display of the monitoring results, the school also installed a display screen for the system.
“There are signal lights on the display so the lights will show different colors, such as green or red, to correspond to different air conditions,” she said. “It makes it easier for teachers and students to understand and identify the monitoring results.”
Hu Qingming, a Beijinger whose daughter is a second-grader at one of the primary schools, applauded the program.
“The city is so big that the PM2.5 statistics released by the city as a whole are too general and can’t reflect the air pollution situation of a small area, such as a school," he said. "With PM2.5 monitoring devices installed in schools, teachers and children can make a better decision on whether they should have outdoor activities.”