St. Catharines Public Library card holders can now borrow carbon dioxide monitors to check indoor air quality in their spaces
Niagara Region Public Health and St. Catharines Public Library have partnered to create a program to lend carbon dioxide monitors that measure indoor air quality, an indication of how well-ventilated a given space is.
Thanks to a generous donation by CAVI – Community Access to Ventilation Information, St. Catharines Public Library has 10 Aranet4 carbon dioxide monitors to be borrowed by the community. The devices are available at all four St. Catharines Public Library branches and can be borrowed for up to seven days.
"Over half of the customers borrowing technology at public libraries would not otherwise have had access to those services," said Erica Wilson, collections librarian. "Carbon dioxide monitors have been an ongoing request from our community, and we're excited to finally make it happen with the support of CAVI and Public Health."
Poorly ventilated indoor spaces with high carbon dioxide levels can lead to tiredness, headaches and an increased risk of airborne infections, including COVID-19.
The reading on a carbon dioxide monitor is not a direct indicator of risk for COVID-19, however, carbon dioxide readings will help users determine if they should take simple steps to increase ventilation, such as:
- Reducing the number of people in the building
- Opening a door or window
- Avoiding strenuous activities like singing, dancing and shouting
“As we breathe and speak, we exhale carbon dioxide into the air, as well as respiratory particles and the viruses they carry,” said Brandon Krupa, manager, Environmental Health. "Measuring carbon dioxide levels can help you understand how much of the air in the room has been exhaled by other people and take steps to improve ventilation and lower your risk of airborne infections like COVID-19.”
While carbon dioxide monitors can help identify poorly ventilated spaces, improving ventilation is just one way that may help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Other important strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 include getting vaccinated, wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance from others.
Each Aranet4 carbon dioxide monitor comes with a guide for using the device and interpreting the results. The monitors can be used to measure carbon dioxide levels not only in homes but offices, gyms and other indoor environments.
Customers can place a hold on a device using the myscpl.ca catalogue.