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School Health Research Library

We have curated a library of peer-reviewed scientific studies from around the world published since 2016, focusing on the school built environment and occupant health and performance. This research builds on the 2017 Schools for Health: Foundations for Student Success report released by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that synthesizes foundational research about school indoor environmental quality impacts on students and staff.

To help translate this research into action in schools, we have compiled School Health Research Highlights to help school staff and leaders access key findings and actionable strategies on priority topics.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 284 | Export entire research library

Characteristics of school children's personal exposure to ultrafine particles in Heshan, Pearl River Delta, China – A pilot study

Mazaheri, Mandana

Hourly average UFP concentrations exhibited three peaks in the morning, midday and evening. Time spent indoors at home was found to have the highest average exposure (1.26 × 104 cm−3 during sleeping) and exposure intensity (2.41). While there is…

Keywords: Ultrafine particles, Personal exposure, School children, Indoor air quality, Indoor exposure, Second-hand smoking


Effect of School Integrated Pest Management or Classroom Air Filter Purifiers on Asthma Symptoms in Students With Active Asthma: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Phipatanakul, Wanda

Among the 236 students who were randomized (mean age, 8.1 [SD, 2.0] years; 113 [48%] female), all completed the trial. At baseline, the 2-week mean was 2.2 (SD, 3.9) symptom-days with asthma and 98% of the classrooms had detectable levels of mouse…



Indoor air problems and hoarseness in children


The results showed a significant correlation between the degree of indoor air problem due to moisture damage and the frequency of hoarseness. Significant predictors for the child being hoarse every week or more often were dry cough, phlegm cough,…

Keywords: Hoarseness, Children, Indoor air problems, Moisture damage, Health symptoms, School buildings


Identifying the K-12 classroom's indoor air quality factors that affect student academic performance

Kabirikopaei, Adel

A multivariate linear regression analysis was used to investigate the associations between IAQ factors and student scores using demographic data as controls. The results revealed associations between student scores and ventilation system type,…

Keywords: Indoor air quality, Academic performance, Classrooms, Student demographics


Evaluation on exposures to particulate matter at a junior secondary school: a comprehensive study on health risks and effective inflammatory responses in Northwestern China

Xu, H

The incremental lifetime cancer risks associated with PAHs were estimated and were 1.62 × 10−6 and 2.34 × 10−6, respectively, for indoor and outdoor fine PMs. Both the values exceeded the threshold value of 1 × 10−6, demonstrating that the…

Keywords: BC and PAHS, Cancer risks, Feno, Health assessment, Northwestern china, Particulate matter (PM)


Children's well-being at schools: Impact of climatic conditions and air pollution

Salthammer, T

High carbon dioxide concentrations in classrooms, which indicate poor ventilation conditions, and the increasing particle matter in urban outdoor air have, in particular, been identified as primary causes of poor indoor air quality in schools.…

Keywords: Thermal comfort, Ventilation, Carbon dioxide (CO2), Indoor chemistry, Exposure in classroom, Guideline values


The influence of ambient aroma on middle school students' academic emotions

Yuanguang, Ma

The findings revealed that the middle school students preferred the aroma of sweet orange essential oil. Also, the ambient aroma of this substance could mitigate the reduction of positive academic emotions and improve negative academic emotions in…

Keywords: Ambient aroma, Middle school student, Academic emotion


A virtual speaker in noisy classroom conditions: supporting or disrupting children's listening comprehension?

Nirme, J

We found significantly fewer correct answers to explicit content questions after listening in
noise. This negative effect was only mitigated to a marginally significant degree by audio-visual presentation. Strong executive function only…

Keywords: Listening, Comprehension, Noise, Education, Multimodality, Virtual humans, Education, Classrooms


Myopia and daylight in schools: a neglected aspect of public health?

Hobday, R

Recent research strongly suggests that the amount of light children get as they grow determines whether they will develop short sight; however, evidence that daylight in classrooms prevents myopia is lacking. Given the rapid increase in prevalence…

Keywords: School design, Myopia, Rickets, Vitamin D, Daylight


The effects of different types of environmental noise on academic performance and perceived task difficult in adolescents with ADHD

Batho, Lauren

Participants in the white noise condition took less time to read the passage and wrote more words on the essay compared with participants in the other conditions, though white noise did not improve academic accuracy. The participants in the babble…

Keywords: Adolescent ADHD, Adolescents, Distraction, Academic performance, Perceptions