New ventilation guidelines from Lancet COVID-19 Commission

Ventilation with clean air is essential for maintaining healthy indoor spaces. Insufficient ventilation increases the risk of transmitting airborne pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2 and also can lead to the buildup of indoor air pollution. The Lancet COVID-19 Commission on Safe Work, Safe School, and Safe Travel released recommendations November 18, 2022 for the minimum rates of ventilation with clean air for a workplace, classroom, or public transportation. These recommendations expand on the ASHRAE recommendations for minimum outdoor air ventilation and explicitly considers the combination of outdoor air ventilation with air filtration and air disinfection.

Table 1. from: Lancet COVID Commission Proposed Non-Infectious Air Delivery Rates for Reducing Exposure to Airborne Infectious Respiratory Diseases. November 2022.

The continued drumbeat of attention surrounding ventilation and healthy indoor air is without question a positive thing. However, a central problem is: How do schools and businesses meet these guidelines? Issues of funding aside, even knowing the ventilation rate on a room by room basis (“are we meeting guidlines or not?”) is a big technical hurdle for many organizations. This recent open-access study by McNeill et al. discusses approaches that were used in universities and schools across the country to assess ventilation needs and discusses best practices.

Recommended Resource: “What’s Up in the Atmosphere? Exploring Colors in the Sky,” an aerosols storybook from The GLOBE Program

Scientists and educators from NASA and UCAR have written a storybook entitled “What’s Up in the Atmosphere? Exploring Colors in the Sky” aimed at elementary school-aged (K-4) children, in which atmospheric aerosols play a starring role.  The story follows a group of curious students who, under the guidance of their teacher, investigate the connection between the appearance of the sky and asthma symptoms in their fellow students on a given day.  The students in the story (and the readers) learn about atmospheric aerosols in the process.  The storybook includes a teachers’ guide with glossary.

Recurso Recomendado: Centro Mario Molina

El sitio web del Centro Mario Molina es un recurso maravilloso para información y noticias en Español sobre la calidad del aire, el cambio climático, y el desarrollo sustentable.

El Dr. Mario Molina es un químico conocido por todo el mundo por su trabajo en la química atmosférica. El Dr. Molina ganó el Premio Nobel de Química en 1995 por sus investigaciones sobre la descomposición del ozono estratosférico. Más recientemente, él ha estado trabajando para entender y mejorar la calidad del aire de la Ciudad de México y otras ciudades grandes, al iqual que  el cambio climático. En el 2005 se fundó este Centro, que es “un puente de soluciones prácticas entre la ciencia y las políticas públicas en materia de energía y del medio ambiente para promover el desarrollo sustentable.”  twitter: @CentroMMolina

Dr. Molina con Prof. McNeill y su familia en May 2014.
El Dr. Molina con la Prof. McNeill y su familia en Mayo del 2014.



Blog recommendation: Adventures in Oceanography and Teaching

This fantastic blog was recently brought to our attention.  It is an excellent resource for students and educators interested in oceanography and fluid dynamics.  Mirjam Glessmer has a passion for simple experiments demonstrating important concepts in oceanography. Her blog features many videos and descriptions of these experiments which can be used for classroom demonstrations or at-home learning activities.  She also posts on teaching philosophy. Check it out!