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Indoor Environmental Quality Issues in Portable Classrooms Used in Puerto Rico and Across the Caribbean

Zimmetry Environmental provides indoor environmental testing, monitoring and consulting services to help schools create a healthy and productive learning environment.

Bayamon, Puerto Rico – WEBWIRE

In any educational facility, a healthy indoor environment is crucial for students and faculty.

As has become a common sight on the U.S. mainland, schools in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean often turn to portable classrooms to provide additional learning space. This is often due to overcrowding or when permanent school buildings have been damaged or are undergoing renovations. 
In any educational facility, a healthy indoor environment is crucial for students and faculty. However, with the increased use of portable classrooms, some teachers, students and parents have expressed concerns over the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of these structures as many have become permanent fixtures on school campuses.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the most common problems with portable classrooms include:

  • Poorly functioning HVAC systems that provide minimal ventilation with outside air
  • Chemical off-gassing from pressed wood and other high-emission materials, which may be of greater concern because of rapid occupancy after construction
  • Water entry and mold growth
  • Site pollution from nearby parking lots or loading areas
  • Poor acoustics from loud ventilation systems

“One of many concerns in these portable classrooms is the potential presence of elevated levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen and respiratory irritant,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “The EPA specifically mentions the fact that pressed-wood products, which may contain higher concentrations of formaldehyde, are used more in factory-built portable units than in buildings constructed on-site. This is one of the reasons ventilation needs to be a top priority. At Zimmetry, our building science and indoor environmental quality experts offer comprehensive testing and consulting services to evaluate ventilation rates and detect airborne pollutants ranging from formaldehyde and mold, to particulate matter, diesel exhaust and other airborne pollutants. The end result is a healthy learning environment for students and faculty.”
Zimmetry also recently sponsored an educational video about portable classrooms and IEQ that can be seen at:
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their indoor air quality, environmental, and compliance testing and consulting services, please visit, call (787) 995.0005 or email .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals, and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs, and general environmental consulting services.

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 Puerto Rico
 Portable Classrooms
 Industrial Hygiene
 Indoor Air Quality

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