CO2 concentration level exceeds standard in reading rooms
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CO2 concentration level exceeds standard in reading rooms
  • Lee Ha-kyung
  • 승인 2015.04.09 22:28
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CO2 concentration exceeded 1,000 ppm in the Ewha-Shinhan Reading Room. The CO2 concentration level should not go over 1,000 ppm. Photo by Ewha Voice.
There have been continuous reports from students about stuffiness and getting headaches in reading rooms.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration turned out to exceed recommended standards in nine reading rooms in the Central Library and Ewha Campus Complex (ECC).
From April 2 to 6, Ewha Voice measured the CO2 concentration levels of nine reading rooms in the ECC and the library. The error range of the measuring instrument is ±100 ppm (parts per million). According to the indoor air regulation enforcement by the Ministry of Environment, the accepted level of CO2 concentration in reading rooms is under 1,000 ppm.
“I study in reading rooms during exam periods and I feel dizzy after staying for just two hours,” said senior Lee Ji-eun majoring in Korean Education. “The exam period is starting soon and reading rooms will be full of students. I hope the school seeks a solution.”
On April 6, CO2 concentration of all reading rooms exceeded 1,000 ppm, which may cause changes in physical condition such as sleepiness. More than half of the seats were being used at the time of inspection.
In the ECC, Reading Room 1 and Ewha-Shinhan laptop room’s CO2 concentration went over 1,000 ppm three days out of five. As for Reading Room 2-A Reading Room 2-B and Ewha-Shinhan Reading Room, the concentration went over 1,000 ppm once during the five days. Rest of the days, it was over 700 ppm and under 1,000 ppm, which is within the range of no particular health risk, but may still cause feelings of displeasure for some people.
In the library, the reading room’s CO2 concentration levels exceeded 1,000 ppm four days out of five, peaking at a maximum of 1,500 ppm, which is 500 ppm higher than the standard. PC room and laptop room also showed CO2 concentration higher than 1,000 ppm for three and two days, respectively. The rest of the levels were over 700 ppm and less than 1,000 ppm.
“Complaints about the air conditioning in reading rooms and the library mostly come up during the exam period because there are many people inside, which inevitably creates a higher CO2 concentration level than usual,” said No Jung-ho of the Facilities Maintenance team.
Since its foundation, the ventilation system of the ECC was not designed to operate on the assumption that a room would be full of people all the time. Acknowledging the problem, members of the Facilities Maintenance team try to reflect students’ comments about the air conditions as soon as possible.
“The ventilation system is always on and we are trying our best to keep up an adequate state in the reading rooms,” No said. “When the Maintenance team hears complaints, we go to the mechanical room and check.”

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