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Study Finds Elevated Levels of Carbon Dioxide in California Classrooms

LA Testing provides analytical services and air monitoring instruments to measure levels of carbon dioxide and other gases, and to detect a wide range of chemical and microbial pollutants that cause indoor air quality (IAQ) issues.

Huntington Beach, CA – WEBWIRE

In the January issue of Building and Environment, researchers from UC Davis and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory published a study that examined carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in schools in California. The study focused on 104 recently retrofitted classrooms from 11 schools with new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. The schools were located in both large and small school districts and from different parts of the state.

Carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless gas that naturally occurs in the atmosphere as a trace gas. People also produce carbon dioxide as an end product of cellular respiration, CO2 is exhaled from the lungs as people breathe. Without proper ventilation and fresh air, CO2 levels in an occupied building will increase over time due to the presence of people.

For this study, carbon dioxide was monitored in classrooms using wall-mounted sensors. According to the findings, a large percentage of classrooms recorded elevated levels of CO2 which was blamed on a number of factors. These included low ventilation rates, poor filter maintenance, fan control problems, lack of air monitoring and other issues.

“In a classroom, exposure to elevated levels of carbon dioxide can cause drowsiness and headaches for students and teachers, not a condition conducive to learning,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “At high levels, carbon dioxide can cause these symptoms along with dizziness, nausea and other health concerns. To help detect elevated levels of carbon dioxide, other common gases, and chemical and microbial pollutants, LA Testing provides laboratory testing services and real-time gas monitors, data logging instruments and other air testing equipment for rent or purchase. If elevated levels of CO2 are found, there are steps that can be taken to rectify the situation to create an indoor environment that supports learning.”

LA Testing has also sponsored an educational video about carbon dioxide and indoor environments that can be seen at:

To learn more about air testing or other environmental, occupational, or health and safety services and monitoring instruments, please visit, email  or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: : AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego and Ontario.

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 Carbon Dioxide
 Indoor Air Quality
 Odorless Gas

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