Kindergarten compared air purifiers: 68% difference in absences
When the staff and children of a municipal kindergarten in the Oulu region in Northern Finland started to have an alarming amount of sick days, they decided to do something about it. The kindergarten had been showing signs of indoor air quality problems due to sick building syndrome: people had repeated sinusitis, fever and headache.
Of the two identical departments of the kindergarten, they equipped one department with Genano air purifiers and the other one with a competing brand.
As the staff is mainly working in one department only, the difference between the air quality of the departments is shown in the symptoms of the staff.
In the department with Genano air purifiers, there was a staff member suffering from symptoms of asthma.
After the Genano installations, this person did not need to be away due to illness at all during the following 6 months.
The payroll department of the municipality compared the number of staff sick leaves between the two departments. During a one-year followup, the department with Genano air purifiers had 68% less staff absences due to sick days.
Also the children were less ill: they had 42% less absences than children in the other department.
It was clearly evident which one of the departments was the healthy one and which one suffered from flu.
Later they decided to swap the placement of Genano air purifiers and the competing brand. The staff member suffering from asthma decided to follow to another department with Genano air purifiers to stay healthy. Also after the change, it could be clearly observed that the department with Genano air purifiers was healthier than the other.
The staff was of the opinion that Genano air purifiers kept the indoor air clean and people healthy. They wanted to equip the whole kindergarten with Genano air purifiers but faced resistance from decision makers.
According to the numbers from the payroll department, the kindergarten would save 50 000–80 000 € yearly, if they would equip the other
department with Genano air purifiers as well. In addition to the financial savings, permanent illnesses of the staff and children could possibly be prevented.
After the Genano installations, the children were less ill: they had 42% less absences than children in the other department.