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Air of mystery: ventilation quality and its impact on aged care facilities

We increasingly focus on what we eat and drink but much less attention is paid to the quality of the air we breathe, yet it can have considerable health implications.

Now, RMIT researchers are working with schools and aged care facilities to boost quality of life and resilience of students and residents through improved air quality.

Project lead Associate Professor Priya Rajagopalan said Australians spend more than 90 per cent of their time indoors, yet the importance of indoor air quality was often overlooked.

“The quality of the air we breathe can have considerable impacts on health, wellbeing, productivity and the economy,” Rajagopalan said, adding children in schools and older adults in aged care facilities are especially vulnerable to worsening air quality.

She said improved ventilation can improve students’ attention span and concentration, contributing to enhanced educational outcomes, while older adults could see improvements to their health and wellbeing.

The research team, along with industry partner Eco Pacific, will install filtered air ventilation systems, along with monitors that will track temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide concentration level, dust particles and pathogens.

Rajagopalan spoke with Aged Care Insite about why air quality should be on everyone’s radar and where the biggest red flags lie.

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