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CO2 DATA COLLECTION

WHAT IS CO2 AND WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT IT?

CO2 is carbon dioxide, a gas. It can occur naturally, such as from wildfires or volcanic eruptions, or from human actions, such as burning fossil fuels or breathing. Simply, it is our exhaled breath. We inhale oxygen and any other particulates, atmospheric aerosols, and even other people's CO2, their air "backwash" or, more accurately their "backbreath". Approximately every 4 seconds, we take a breath. When C02 levels are high we may experience headaches, loss of mental acuity, fatigue, or even severe health problems. Measuring CO2 in schools or public buildings can tell us how well-ventilated (or not) a room is. When viral loads are high, for example, and ventilation is low, our chances of picking up viral illness increases.  When airborne infectious diseases like SARS-COV-2 or influenza circulate in communities, C02 readings provide insight for the risk of infection via backbreath.

LET'S MEASURE CO2 AND START COLLECTING DATA!

Aranet 4 CO2 Monitor
  • Borrow or Buy a CO2 Monitor

  • Enable Data Logging

  • Set to 1 minute intervals

  • Silence any pre-set alarms

  • Fill out Supplemental Observational Data Log Form

HOW TO COLLECT CO2 DATA
WHO CAN COLLECT DATA?
  • Anyone!

  • Parents

  • Students

  • Teachers

CO2
WHEN TO COLLECT DATA

More data is best, but a snapshot of data collected from one day still tells the story.

  • Good:  1 full day

  • Better:  3 full days

  • Best:  2 weeks

Calendar
WHAT TO COLLECT

The C02 monitor will collect data each minute. In addition, if possible, you'll want to record supplemental observational data.

 

  • Good:  C02 in ppm

  • Better:  C02 in ppm + Student & Teacher Count

  • Best:  C02 in ppm + Student & Teacher Count + Room Size

(Sq ft & height) + weather conditions + child's schedule

Data
WHERE TO COLLECT
  • Place the monitor in mesh backpack/lunchbox pocket with sensor facing outward.

  • On a desk or shelf

  • Inside a desk with cubby opening (common in elementary schools)

  • Do not breathe directly on monitor or place in airtight container.

  • Remember, monitors are fragile like a cell phone without a case.

Backpack
WHY WE SHOULD COLLECT DATA
  • CO2 levels serve as a proxy to understand ventilation. When C02 levels are too high, improving ventilation or adding HEPA filtration is necessary.

  • It shouldn't be parents' jobs to do this, but since no one else is doing it, we have to. Schools have had over two years.

  • Our kids and teachers deserve to breathe clean air.

Why monitor
OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES
  • HVAC systems should bring in enough outside air to keep inside air fresh, with C02 below 800 ppm.

  • Improving indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools lowers infectious disease risk and is CDC recommended.

CO2 Levels
CHECKLIST
  • Borrow or Buy CO2 Monitor, label it:  name/contact info

  • If able, measure outside air for 5 minutes, place in mesh backpack or lunchbox pocket

  • Record weather, exact start time, & other observations

Checklist

After collecting the data, complete our  form by clicking the image on the right.

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