Exposure assessment survey in schools

WHO has developed a cross-sectional exposure assessment survey to evaluate pupils’ exposure to selected indoor air pollutants, mould/dampness and poor ventilation in classrooms. The air pollutants are nitrogen dioxide (NO2), formaldehyde and benzene. The survey also assesses access to sanitation facilities, hygiene practices, smoking in schools and on school grounds, and modes of transportation to school.

Cross-sectional surveys aim at estimating the level of a specific exposure in a defined population at a particular point in time.

Survey data will be used to develop seven new ENHIS indicators to assess progress towards Parma Declaration commitments related to indoor air quality and sanitation in children’s facilities, and safe physical activities for children.

WHO has provided technical assistance to pilot surveys in several Member States, and five Member States have completed the surveys as of mid-2013. The first nationwide survey, involving over 150 schools, was initiated in Croatia in 2013. Participating Member States are encouraged to repeat the survey to track their progress.