Hillsboro High School Air Quality Analysis

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The air and water quality in Hillsboro High School and its cluster schools (those schools that of the same educational area) was evaluated to determine any correlation between the age of the school and the levels of pollutants present. The water in the schools was mainly tested for Lead. Lead accumulates in older pipes and has been known to leak into water fountains. Lead in constant amounts could affect a younger child’s health. The water the schools was also tested for nitrates, orthophosphates, and chlorine to develop a whole picture on the quality of water. PH readings were also taken. In oder to evaluate air quality, the number of particulate pollutants present in the air were observed in all of the schools. Air quality is not closely…show more content…
This group made up almost 16 percent of the United States’ population in 2013 (4). Not only does a significant portion of our population attend primary schools, these students attend school for an average of 180 days per year, making them susceptible to the schools’ potentially noxious environment and any contaminants that could be detrimental to their health (1). The Hillsboro cluster school buildings, part of Metropolitan Public Schools (MNPS), were all built before the year 2004. It is known that MNPS schools do not annually evaluate their air quality or water quality (3). Furthermore, MNPS’ data concerning the presence of heavy metals in water such as lead or fine particles in the air is nonexistent. This is a problem because the more years a school’s water and air quality go unmonitored the greater the possibility to have dangerous levels of pollutants accumulate in the air and water present in MNPS schools. It is imperative to closely monitor the levels of air and water pollutants in schools to ensure children’s safety. An experiment was designed and conducted to examine and evaluate the water and air quality in Hillsboro cluster schools. The schools’ air was tested for particle pollution while water fountains were tested for lead, pH readings, chlorine, orthophosphates, and nitrates. The focus of the water testing was on Lead levels. The…show more content…
The age of the school did not affect the levels of air and water contaminants present. Sylvan Park Elementary, Hillsboro High, Julia Green Elementary, West End Middle, Eakin Elementary, and Glendale Elementary were all built before 1960 but their results were not significantly different than Rose Park Middle and J.T Moore Middle (built after 1960). All schools exhibited water pollutants level below the federal standards. PH readings in the water were all in the EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) suggested range (6.8-7). The water in all schools indicated that there was no lead present. Six out of the seven schools had orthophosphates present in the water. However, even the highest results, 3.5 mg/L at Hillsboro High (Figure 2), were below the EPA’s national standards (4 mg/L) (5). All schools except for Sylvan Park Elementary had some chlorine in the water (Figure 2). A slight amount of chlorine in drinking water is considered safe and normal. Chlorine kills off microorganisms which may be present in drinking water and pose a threat to human health. Two schools had Nitrates present but the amount was insignificant and not enough to pose a threat to children. Particulate matter pollution was averaged for each school except for three that had numerical errors. The amount of particulate pollution was the highest in J.T Moore Middle (Figure 1). This may be due to the number high number of

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