IQAir and South Coast AQMD partner for clean air in classrooms

In a landmark partnership aimed at reducing exposure to air pollution, the IQAir Foundation has joined forces with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) to undertake an ambitious air filtration installation project at schools in Southern California.  This is part of $1.2 million available funds for installing and maintaining air filtration systems at 184 private K-12 schools, private daycare facilities, and preschools in underserved communities.

This effort was showcased during an installation event on March 6, 2024, at the School of Santa Isabel in Los Angeles. Santa Isabel is about two blocks from four major freeways, exposing it to air pollution from traffic. Many schools in Southern California are located near highways where pollution, including diesel particulate matter, is emitted from trucks and other vehicles.

Students spend an average of six to eight hours a day at schools, and studies show that indoor air quality can have significant impacts on student health, wellbeing, and productivity in the classroom. South Coast AQMD’s AB 617 Private School Program addresses the critical need to improve children’s exposure to particle pollution in their schools by providing air filters that remove 90% of particulate pollution.

Comprehensive Air Quality Solutions for Healthier Learning Environments

The installation of state-of-the-art IQAir air filtration units in classrooms is a direct response to the growing body of research linking clean air to improved health, cognitive function, and academic performance. This includes HealthPro air purifiers across various classrooms, the main office, and the library. Additionally, the team replaced HyperHEPA filters in existing CleanZone systems and installed NanoMax Filters in the HVAC systems and Atem X air purifiers, which were placed in the faculty room and art room. A solar AirVisual Outdoor was also installed to monitor air quality outside of the school.

A Milestone in Community Health and Education

The installation event was not just a logistical undertaking; it was a symbolic moment of commitment from all parties involved. The IQAir Foundation, South Coast AQMD, and Santa Isabel School demonstrated a united front in the fight against air pollution, emphasizing the project’s dual focus on immediate impact and long-term health benefits for the school’s community. 

“Ensuring the health and safety of our students and staff is paramount. Thanks to our partnership with IQAir and South Coast AQMD, our school has taken a huge leap forward. With the new air filtration systems, our school community is healthier, more focused, and reassured of their safety,” said Santa Isabel’s School Principal, Hilda Orozco.

The event served as an educational platform, raising awareness among students, parents, and staff about the importance of air quality and its effects on health and learning.

With the new air filtration systems, our school community is healthier, more focused, and reassured of their safety – Hilda Orozco, Principal of Santa Isabel

Beyond a Single Project

This collaboration is a key part of a larger strategy by IQAir to tackle air quality issues head-on, reflecting a deep commitment to not only raising awareness but also providing tangible solutions to air pollution. The project serves as a model for future endeavors, highlighting the power of partnership, innovation, and community engagement in making significant environmental health advances.

This project is one piece to a much larger puzzle—it’s a single effort in a broader, systemic change in how schools address air quality.

“This initiative is more than just equipment installation; it's about ensuring a healthier future for our children and setting new standards for school environments. "We're very excited to partner with IQAir and Santa Isabel School to improve classroom air quality," said Dan Garcia, South Coast AQMD’s Community Programs & Special Incentives Manager.

By demonstrating the clear benefits of air filtration in educational settings, like Santa Isabel School, the partnership aims to inspire other schools, districts, and policymakers to prioritize clean air initiatives, amplifying the impact of this single project across the educational landscape.

Looking Ahead

The success of this project fuels IQAir's ongoing mission to ensure healthy air for all. The collaboration between IQAir Foundation, South Coast AQMD, and Santa Isabel School exemplifies a successful approach to environmental health challenges, setting a precedent for impactful air quality improvements in schools nationwide.

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