In order to understand, measure and reduce the concentrations of CO2 in our environment, we need to give you some facts. You need to know the concentrations of CO2 within the air that you breathe and know how they can affect your health and well-being. As global warming marches on, these concentrations will continue to increase steadily. Here are some of the facts based on the very best science that we could find.

We found many facts and issues concerning CO2 concentrations that affect our lives. Just a few of these are:

 

Well Being

 

Children’s Development

High CO2 Levels Indoors

High CO2 Levels
In Cars, Trucks, Trains, Streets

We have chosen four facts below among many that we are aware of. These shocked us the most… and will shock you.

The four that we have chosen are:

  1. Indoor CO2 concentrations can reach high levels that can have long term health effects
  2. Children’s development and wellbeing in day care centres is at risk from high CO2 levels
  3. It is amazing how quickly very high CO2 levels can build up in cars and trucks
  4. High levels of CO2 can have significant health effects on us all

There are many more such facts!

Extracted from “I’m living in a carbon bubble. Literally by Joel Jean (https://medium.com/@joeljean/im-living-in-a-carbon-bubble-literally-b7c391e8ab6)

High CO2 Levels Indoors

There is a big body of evidence (see the papers in the science base) that show that in our society, most people spend 80 to 90% of the time indoors whilst the elderly and children can spend virtually every day indoors.

There is good evidence to show that average indoor CO2 concentrations in offices, schools and homes typically range from 600 to 1000 parts per million (ppm) but can exceed 2000 ppm with increasing occupancy and reduced building ventilation. Furthermore, people can spend nearly one third of their life sleeping and evidence shows that CO2 concentrations in bedrooms can exceed 3500 ppm when doors are closed for privacy and windows are closed for energy conservation. See the graphic below showing the typical build-up of CO2 concentration in a bedroom.

Office meeting rooms with high occupancy and poor ventilation can have CO2 concentrations in the 2000 to 3000 ppm range.

This is not good for our health; we need to address this issue, measure it, understand it and mitigate for it.

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Children’s development

Another study showed a 50% reduction in performance across cognitive function tests when CO2 concentration increases from 500ppm to 1400ppm.

That sounds like a big increase (nearly three times as much CO2).

But 500ppm is the outdoor CO2 concentration. Have a guess what the indoor concentration is in classrooms.

According to a study in Texas it’s 1400ppm. A study in the Netherlands across 17 schools comes in slightly lower at 1300ppm.

Education is a cornerstone of leading a fulfilled life. More importantly, we owe it to the next generation to ensure that their environment gives them a good start in life. 

No child should be limited by the air quality in their classroom.

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Extracted from “Is CO2 an Indoor Pollutant? Higher Levels of CO2 May Diminish Decision Making Performance”. by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (https://eta-publications.lbl.gov/sites/default/files/lbnl-6148e-is_co2_an_indoor_pollutant_v3.pdf)

Well Being

Tyler Jacobsen and his co-workers from highly respected institutions in the United States show, in a review article (see reference 1 in the “What About The Science” section), that long term exposure to elevated CO2 levels have several adverse health outcomes in both pathological and cognitive effects.

There is a large body of evidence that supports the existence of significant pathological effects. These include:

1. Chronic low-grade systemic inflammation;

2. Bone mineralisation and kidney calcification;

3. Chronic low-grade respiratory acidosis;

4. Behavioural changes and physiological stress;

5. Hedonic feeding behaviours;

6. Oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction.

Elevated CO2 levels have been strongly associated with headaches, increased student absenteeism and reduced cognitive performance. Recent reviews conclude that elevated CO2 levels may directly affect higher-level cognitive performance, included poor decision-making and problem resolution.

These long-term effects are potentially serious; we all have to understand, measure and mitigate them.

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High CO2 Levels in Cars, Trucks, Trains, Streets

 

Outdoor pollution takes place over decades. CO2 builds up inside a car within minutes.

According to a study conducted by Senseair

4 adults in one car, CO2 levels reached:

1,000 ppm in 1.5 minutes

2,500 ppm in 5 minutes,

and a shocking 6,000 ppm after 22 minutes.

  • Roll down a window, or keep the AC pumping in fresh air while you drive
  • Don’t be one of the 40% of people who admit they have fallen asleep while driving at least once.

It doesn’t stop there…