Indoor carbon dioxide concentrations in Croatian elementary school classrooms during the heating season
Aware that exposure to stuffy indoor air with high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) is associated with higher absenteeism and reduced academic performance in school pupils, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe initiated indoor air quality surveys in schools, including CO2 monitoring, to assess ventilation and exposure to stuffy air. Here we report the findings of the first such survey in Croatia. It was conducted in 60 classrooms of 20 urban and rural elementary schools throughout the country during the heating season. Measurements of CO2 levels showed that all 60 classrooms exceeded the international guidelines of 1938 mg/m3. Mean CO2 concentrations ranged from 2771 to 7763 mg/m3. The highest concentration measured in urban schools was 7763 mg/m3 and in rural schools 4771 mg/m3. Average CO2 levels were higher in continental schools (3683 mg/m3) than the coastal ones (3134 mg/m3), but all demonstrate poor ventilation during the heating season all over Croatia.