Minhang school gets air purifiers – thanks to charity program

Other schools and kindergartens in Putuo, Yangpu and Minhang districts and the Pudong New Area will also benefit.

The first batch of 50 air purifiers collected from a charity program were delivered to a middle school in Minhang District on Wednesday to combat indoor air pollution.

The program, launched two months ago, has raised 1.08 million yuan (US$166,250), and about 350 air purifiers will be bought and distributed to schools and kindergartens in Putuo, Yangpu and Minhang districts and the Pudong New Area to provide a healthy and sustainable study environment for children.

"Our school is close to a fuel-burning power plant, and the air quality is often poor with smoggy air and a sour smell," said Tang Lin, the headmaster of the Pujiang No. 1 Middle School in Pujiang area that received the 50 air purifiers.

"We applied for the free use of these air purifiers, which will help improve the environment at classrooms and is the best new year gift for students," he said.

The air purifiers are installed at more than 30 classrooms of the school, which has more than 1,200 students.

"Formaldehyde, radon, volatile organic compound generated during construction and decoration, PM2.5, bacteria and virus carried by students and teachers are some major factors causing air pollution," said Li Wei, director of the environmental protection fund of the Shanghai Service Development and Research Foundation, the organizer of the program.

All kindergartens, primary and middle schools in Shanghai are eligible to apply to have the air purifiers installed as the program will continue. Once the purifiers are no longer serviceable, they will be collected together for unified processing to avoid resource waste and unnecessary pollution, according to the organizer.

There are 2,439 kindergartens, 1,439 primary schools and 774 middle schools in Shanghai. Primary and middle school students spend an average eight to 10 hours at school every day — and 80 percent of that time is spent in the classroom, according to research.

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