The health and comfort of students and teachers are among the many factors that contribute to learning and productivity in the classroom, which in turn affect performance and achievement.

Comparative risk studies in recent years performed in the United States by the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health. Good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is an important component of a healthy indoor environment, and can help schools reach their primary goal of educating children.

Closer to home, a year-long IAQ study conducted by RMIT University has found Victorian students are learning in classrooms with very poor air quality. Further, studies in other states have found similar levels of poor air quality in classrooms. Some of the more common side effects from poor air quality in schools include:

  • The acceleration of the deterioration and reduction of the efficiency of the school’s physical plant and equipment;
  • Creating negative publicity;
  • Impacting on student attendance, comfort, and performance;
  • Impacting on community trust;
  • Increasing potential for school closures due repairs and maintenance;
  • Reduction of teacher and staff performance;
  • Strained relationships among school administration, parents and staff; and
  • Students having lower concentration

Failure to prevent or respond promptly to IAQ problems can increase long and short-term health effects for students and staff, such as:

  • Coughing;
  • Eye irritation;
  • Headaches;
  • Allergic reactions;
  • Aggravating asthma and/or other respiratory illnesses; and
  • In rare cases, contribute to life-threatening conditions such as Legionnaire’s disease or carbon monoxide

A recent study by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that coughs and sneezes can travel 200 times further than previously thought. Most scientist thought that the cloud of infected pollutants in a cough could travel for 60 metres. However, the new study has found that droplets of 100 micrometres can travel five times further than previously estimated, and that droplets of 10 micrometre can travel 200 times further. Droplets less than 50 micrometres in size can remain airborne long enough to reach ceiling ventilation, compromising air quality that leads to infectious outbreaks.

In today’s world with the advent of COVD-19 as well as the WHO classifying COVID-19 as an airborne virus, this adds another layer of health complexity in an environment where children sit in close proximity of each other for extended periods of time. Further, when factoring in the difficulty in getting children to adhere to social distancing practices – this has brought solutions that combat the spread of COVID-19 front and centre.

Applying a proactive approach to improving IAQ in schools and education facilities will:

  • Create a more productive learning environment;
  • Help improve staff retention;
  • Increase cognitive function;
  • Reduce absenteeism;
  • Reduce operating cost, carbon footprint and create more sustainable facilities; and
  • Significantly reduce and manage the exposure and transmission of airborne and surface contaminants including some of the most common school age

Fortress Air is a distributor of Australian and international designed, tested and patented advanced air and surface treatment systems that safely and efficiently restore the balance of recirculated air by maintaining air quality as well as eliminating contaminated and poor-quality air in residential, commercial, industrial, retail, office, school and indoor public spaces.

These innovative technologies produces Ions and Free Hydroxyl Radicals which are naturally occurring molecules to continuously sanitise the total volume of air, while simultaneously sanitising all soft and hard surfaces, 24/7 in an indoor environment by eliminating and preventing airborne risks and cross infection in indoor spaces including:

  • Bacteria which includes staph and strep;
  • Mould and mould spoors;
  • Odours and other toxic fumes;
  • Pathogens;
  • Viruses, eg:
    • Common cold;
    • DNA viruses which include chicken pox;
    • Influenza;
    • RNA viruses which include COVID-19 and measles;
    • Stomach flu; and
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).


In schools, colleges, and universities, odours and infections are created by bacteria, viruses, mould, fungi and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) carried in the air. Regular cleaning, disinfecting and masking agents are not enough to kill the bacteria which can multiply from one to 8 million in 8 hours.*


Air Silent Range
Multipurpose Range
Mega Thermal Range
Multiflex Range
Washroom Thermal Range

The AS Range has been specifically designed for small spaces such as bedrooms with continuous occupation, it is ideal for residents who suffer heavy incontinence. It does not have a fan making its silent thermal convection operation a favourite with residents and staff who may be disturbed by noisy machines in their rooms. It uses a standard wall socket and once installed, an AS unit runs continuously requiring just one annual lamp change.

The MF Range is designed to control odours in medium to large sized enclosed spaces. It is ideal for reception areas, corridors, dining rooms and resident’s lounges. The units are installed to suit the size of space (20 sq m to 100 sq m) and the level of contamination, they are fan driven and operate 24/7. Once installed they can be easily tweaked to achieve the optimum level of performance and an MF unit requires minimal maintenance and one annual lamp change for years of operation.

The WT Range uses the latest thermal convection technology to control high levels of odours in smaller enclosed spaces, washrooms and any rooms where there is non-continuous occupation. The units are hard-wired to an existing power source such as a lighting circuit spur to operate 24/7.

Our groundbreaking AIRsteril technology is guaranteed to help you:
– Improve cleanliness by removing all odours.
– Improve infection control for residents, patients, staff and visitors.
– Improve air quality especially for residents with respiratory problems.
– Cut the need for cleaning chemicals and perfumes.
– Extend the life of soft furnishings.
– Cut staff turnover and absenteeism.
– Improve first impressions for new clients and families.
– Comply with regulations.


Schools and higher education accumulate high levels of harmful bacteria and viruses in washrooms, changing rooms, classrooms, kitchens and common areas. Poor ventilation and shared facilities add to the problems of bacteria accumulating and spreading around these areas.

The AIRsteril washroom range is proving to be a winner with companies servicing the washroom market. Once installed, units supply bacteria controlled purified air all day long and a low ozone output ensures a fresh smelling washroom without risk to human health.

AIRsteril’s Multi Purpose air purification units can be used in larger areas like classrooms and common areas. The MP100 is a powerful portable unit for clearing contaminated rooms and each 13w low energy unit has a coverage of up to 30 sq m. These units do not have any filters to change and require just one annual maintenance meaning they cost very little to run and provide and ecologically sound solution.

*Certain bacteria such as Ecoli can replicate every 20 minutes, which could in theory leave you with 16.7 million in 8 hours, what we are highlighting is that bacteria breed very quickly and cannot be controlled with traditional methods.


“In order to safeguard our most vulnerable pupils, we decided to install Airsteril units in our nursery hygiene room, and our classroom and hygiene room used by our pupils with the most severe and complex needs. The Airsteril units have not only provided us with protection from bacteria and viruses; they’ve also given us peace of mind.”

Brussels EXPO, AIRsteril products were supplied throughout this busy exhibition centre enabling the centre to offer the best possible protection to visitors meaning it was used to host exams as well as a vaccination centre, further information can be found here.”