The heater is important to your health
I am employed as a nurse at a small, local middle school. As a farming community, with a small population and fairly low income level, the school operates on a very limited budget. The actual building is extremely old and rather outdated. In our area, we experience long and cold winter seasons. For the majority of the school year, it is necessary to run the heating system. The outside temperature is typically below freezing for six straight months, and sometimes drops below zero. Unfortunately, the school’s heating system is downright ancient and not in good condition. Whenever it starts up, it introduces a great deal of dust into the indoor environment. The dust is then breathed in by the students and faculty, which is a danger to their health. We have an unusually high rate of absenteeism, and I blame the heating unit. The heating system dries out the air, spreads contaminants, and aggravates symptoms of allergies and asthma. I frequently have kids in my office complaining of headache, nausea, sore throat, and bloody noses. These are all issues that are directly linked to the indoor air quality. I have repeatedly petitioned the school board to replace the heating system. I am continually told that there is not enough money in the budget to cover it. I find it aggravating that there is always enough funding for new sports equipment and technology. While it’s great that the kids get to play football and do their homework on ipads, I think it’s more important that the heater isn’t putting their health and safety at risk.