Carbon Dioxide Monitors Gain Policy-Maker Attention

Carbon Dioxide Monitors Gain Policy-Maker Attention
A few days ago, we shared an article on how the Netherlands implemented the first mandatory CO2 monitoring policy in classrooms. Under the new policy, schools will be required to have carbon dioxide monitors in every classroom from 2023 onwards.

However, while the Netherlands is the first country to adopt such a policy, it’s far from the only country acting on high carbon dioxide concentrations. England, France, Belgium, Germany and Scotland are among the other countries that have decided that carbon dioxide must be monitored (primarily in schools).

The new protocols are mainly to be used in school settings. However, the Belgian government has made a much broader policy requiring that hospitality settings such as restaurants, hotels, and bars require carbon dioxide monitoring.

Likewise, the Scottish government is taking a similar approach by targeting businesses as a whole instead of schools. While schools will feel the most impacts of carbon dioxide (due to increased days of absence, lower exam grades, etc), steps like this are essential as carbon dioxide can significantly impact any indoor venue or business.

Interestingly, nearly all of these policies are based on COVID-19 transmission. Since carbon dioxide concentrations have been found to act as a proxy for COVID-19 transmission, there has been a rush to implement monitors in classrooms worldwide.

In crowded locations such as classrooms, bars, and cafes, carbon dioxide monitors will provide an accurate way to identify the COVID-19 transmission risk and when ventilation is needed. However, there is also a second benefit that governments and organisations seem to be overlooking.

Carbon dioxide itself is detrimental to how our brain performs. Not only does carbon dioxide make us tired, but it can also severely limit our cognitive function by as much as 50%. Managing carbon dioxide levels in classrooms from elementary schools to lecture halls could provide students with a significant advantage simply because they aren’t being limited by carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide monitoring is needed. Whether in schools, bars, or train stations, carbon dioxide monitors allow us to know when ventilation is necessary. In turn, this will enable schools and businesses to reduce the COVID-19 transmission risk and increase the performance of students and staff.
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