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Schools vs. Smog: How Clean is the Air at Your College?

Manny Berhanu

How Clean is the Air at Your College?

It can be a real struggle deciding which college is the best for you. There are a wide range of variables to consider such as reputation, location, tuition fees, supportive community just to name a few. However, not many students seem to take into account air quality as an important variable to look at.

Various studies have linked air pollution with poorer cognitive performance, impaired memory, reduced attention span, anxiety, and depression.

Professor Xi Chen from the Yale School of Public Health, states: “Polluted air can cause everyone to reduce their level of education by one year, which is huge.”Researchers have linked high levels of pollution with oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration.

A new study from HouseFresh analyzed Air Quality values of the areas around every college in the country to find which college campuses have the best air quality. The tool to measure air quality is known as AQI and is used by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

AQI levels

  • An AQI value between 0 – 50 is classed as ‘good’. Air quality within this range is satisfactory, and the air pollution poses little or no risk.
  • An AQI value between 51 – 100 is classed as ‘moderate’. This range is acceptable. However, there may be a risk for some people, particularly those who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
  • An AQI value between 101 – 150 is classed as ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’. Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is less likely to be affected.
  • An AQI value between 151 – 200 is classed as ‘unhealthy’. Some members of the general public may experience health effects; members of sensitive groups my experience more serious health issues.
  • An AQI value between 201 – 300 is classed as ‘very unhealthy’. The risk of health effects is increased for everyone.
  • An AQI value over 301 is classed as ‘hazardous’. Everyone is more likely to be affected and therefore a health warning of emergency conditions will be established.

Find out which colleges across every area in the U.S. have the best air quality:

How Clean is the Air at Your College?

SEE ALSO: Lifetime Income Effected by Lack of Mental Health Treatment

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