I’m still looking for good soap-based shampoos. As I’ve tried to find alternatives—because none of CalBen’s liquid products meet the SolveEczema.org criteria anymore since they changed their formulations, and they used to have the best soap-based shampoo—I’ve found some pretty good foaming liquid soaps.
The task of reporting on my soap product experiences continues to be somewhat daunting. To really test a given soap, it’s necessary to try it several times, continuously and exclusively, over the course of at least 3 days. With only one wash, even the most drying soaps don’t necessarily cause the cracking, dryness, even peeling or hangnails that surface with regular use. See this SolveEczema post about washing hands without drying them for why.
So, I am going to use this post as my master list, editing it as I go rather than adding new posts on this topic.
I have done my best to determine that each of these products is a true soap, but as I recommend on the site, always, always check first. These are my subjective experiences and opinions. This earlier blog post on dry skin, eczema, and soap, may be helpful for evaluating products.
PLEASE NOTE THAT EACH OF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS IS FOR JUST THE SPECIFIC SOAP LISTED, OF THAT SPECIFIC “FLAVOR.” A RECOMMENDATION FOR ONE PRODUCT IN A LINE OF SOAPS DOES NOT IMPLY A RECOMMENDATION FOR OTHER SOAPS IN THE SAME LINE. SOMETIMES THE OTHER SOAPS IN THE SAME LINE HAVE PROBLEMATIC INGREDIENTS, FOR EXAMPLE. Also, not all of these soaps are necessarily okay for bathing infants because of other ingredients—I wanted to give grownups in the household some options, too. Always read ingredient labels for individual needs and sensitivities, and because manufacturers can change ingredients. If you order online, check the ingredients when you buy AND when you receive the item. In ordering products to try recently, I’ve received no fewer than 3 with only soap ingredients on their sites but detergent products as received.
I have by now tried so many liquid soap products, I am only going to list the ones I really, really like, or for one reason or other, think should be mentioned for problems (like dryness).
Please note that “moisturizing” soaps backfire, causing the skin to feel soft or moisturized at first but increasing the permeability of the skin and causing it to lose water over time. (Refer to “Lumsdaine’s Law” in previous blog posts and to how to wash hands frequently without drying out skin .) Too many soap makers make the mistake of adding oil to their products. I no longer recommend using bar soaps with added oils or glycerine, or “superfatted” soaps. I no longer recommend glycerine soaps at all. After trying many products, I also suggest caution with liquid soap products with added rosemary oil, usually as a preservative, they are often too oily/drying.
Aging soap, by putting a bar away on a shelf for 6 months to a year, could turn a drying soap into a great one. I have recently tried a bar of Tact, for example, that I put away for over a year, and it went from being unacceptably drying to absolutely luxurious and gentle to the skin. Liquid soaps can benefit some too, but they obviously won’t last as long. Look on liquid soap bottles for expirations, they aren’t likely to be good as long as bar soaps. (I don’t know if they get old, and I don’t worry for myself, but I always think you can’t be too careful with infants).
If a soap makes your hands feel oily or not clean after you wash, yet dries your skin over time, such a soap will probably never get better from aging. If a soap feels neutral when you pick it up, but your hands feel dryer after using it, that’s a soap that may be completely different if aged. Some soaps are completely different after six months, others take a year or two. One of my very favorite bar soaps I won’t use until I’ve aged it three years. (I’m not mentioning it below, because I don’t think the maker would like to be known for having to age their soap three years before using!)
You can always take solid bars, grate them, and turn them into soap gels with hot water. Many websites suggest ways to do this. Start with a good soap and do not add glycerin or oils, which, in my observation, reduce cleaning and backfire in terms of moisturizing.
COMMISSION DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Links that don’t go to Amazon, don’t earn a commission.
I feel I should be very clear that typical earnings are less than $10/month. Although it always helps, it’s not what most people imagine, and does not even cover web expenses. When a major soap producer changed its formulation recently (2022), I spent hundreds of dollars to try to find good alternatives, most of which aren’t even worth mentioning. The reality is that I’ve never even been able to use easy mainstream advertising tools that would have earned much better commissions, because they would advertise things that don’t meet the SolveEczema criteria and could even be dangerous to site users. Some of the below links won’t even work, but are left to show the product. So, please use the links, it helps, but no, they are not a major source of income.
Lastly, I have purchased and used all of the above products myself, although I haven’t used all of them recently. Product makers change ingredients—check before buying to be sure they are consistent with SolveEczema.org strategies.
I do not endorse nor have I accepted any payment to mention or represent products. I list product ideas for convenience, since people ask— and if I don’t, I am swamped with requests for specific product recommendations.
COMMISSION DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Links that don’t go to Amazon, don’t earn a commission.
I need to let SolveEczema site users know that a representative of Cal Ben Pure Soap Company has told me they are switching to a different formula for their SHAMPOO and DISH-GLOW LIQUID. THESE WILL NO LONGER BE SOAP-BASED AS DEFINED ON SOLVEECZEMA.ORG, BUT WILL BE DETERGENT PRODUCTS PER THE SOLVEECZEMA.ORG DEFINITION.
According to their representative, their supplier has ceased production and they can no longer get the previous formulations. Their liquid laundry will be changing, too, but I already did not recommend it as meeting SolveEczema site criteria.
Cal Ben’s soap-based shampoo was the best soap-based shampoo on the market, hands down. The Dish-Glow concentrate which was such a fantastic all-around soap-based washing product. Both will truly be missed around our household.
New ingredients (which no longer meet the SolveEczema site criteria) will be:
Five Star Shampoo (Triple Concentrate)Water, Fatty alcohol (C12-14) ether sulfate, sodium salt, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl glucoside, Sodium chloride, Fragrances, Methylisothiazolinone, Red #40, Yellow #5, Blue #1.
The EPA has for years provided evidence-based guidance designed specifically for schools—their Tools for Schools—yet as of the start of the pandemic, more than half of all schools in the US had not adopted a framework for effective air quality management, called an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Management plan.
These are not opaque jargony strategies that exist only in the bottom drawers of facilities managers’ desks, they are evidence-based, practical toolboxes written to help families and schools partner to ensure their schools are as healthy as possible within existing budgets. In fact, that partnership is an essential aspect of an effective framework, as parents’, teachers’ and students’ reports of allergies and symptoms related to indoor air quality problems in school spaces are essential to implementing the plan (not to be dismissed, buried, or handled effectively in their absence).
As of the last time I looked, only one state out of 50 had strong laws promising that schools would have healthy air quality and ensuring parents could pursue remedies if they did not. This California PTA Resolution from 2007 may as well have been written yesterday, for all the progress that hasn’t been made in the state in the years since (and the generation of children who could have benefited): link.
As a parent who fought (and lost) to help our local schools adopt an air quality management plan—that would have reduced absenteeism related to asthma, improved overall student performance, and helped our locals schools reopen faster and more safely now—I dearly hope this moment will turn into an opportunity to not only mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in schools, but also to give students and teachers the benefits of good indoor air quality management long into the future. From what I have seen, that isn’t happening despite many good intentions. It’s not too late to change that.
Has your district purchased new filters? How are they being used and monitored for safety and efficacy? Has your district adopted an effective indoor air quality management plan? (If they say they have a plan that doesn’t involve working with and communicating with students, teachers, and families on an ongoing basis to ensure the spaces are healthy, the answer is no.)
“Many countries have prioritized schools in their COVID-19 pandemic recovery plans, including providing funding to support costs associated with reopening safely. These resources represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity for health-based improvements to school buildings, such as improving indoor air quality (IAQ), which can reduce the risk of airborne infectious disease transmission as well as benefit health and academic performance. Unfortunately, there are reports of schools spending millions of dollars on unproven or largely ineffective air cleaning technologies…” [my emphasis]
Melanie Robbins, mom of a kindergartner and a child in pre-K in Montclair, New Jersey, joined a campaign of concerned parents who tried to raise concerns with the Montclair Board of Education over the use of Global Plasma Solutions ionizing devices in their children’s public school classrooms. (Jackie Molloy / for KHN)
As Schools Spend Millions on Air Purifiers, Experts Warn of Overblown Claims and Harm to Children
“We’re going to live in a world where the air quality in schools is worse after the pandemic, after all of this money,” Zaatari said. “It’s really sickening.”
Last summer, Global Plasma Solutions wanted to test whether the company’s air-purifying devices could kill covid-19 virus particles but could find only a lab using a chamber the size of a shoebox for its trials. In the company-funded study, the virus was blasted with 27,000 ions per cubic centimeter.
In September, the company’s founder incidentally mentioned that the devices being offered for sale actually deliver a lot less ion power — 13 times less — into a full-sized room.
The company nonetheless used the shoebox results — over 99% viral reduction — in marketing its device heavily to schools as something that could combat covid in classrooms far, far larger than a shoebox.
School officials desperate to calm worried parents bought these devices and others with a flood of federal funds, installing them in more than 2,000 schools across 44 states, a KHN investigation found. They use the same technology — ionization, plasma and dry hydrogen peroxide — that the Lancet COVID-19 Commission recently deemed “often unproven” and potential sources of pollution themselves.
In the frenzy, schools are buying technology that academic air-quality experts warn can lull them into a false sense of security or even potentially harm kids. And schools often overlook the fact that their trusted contractors — typically engineering, HVAC or consulting firms — stand to earn big money from the deals, KHN found.
Academic experts are encouraging schools to pump in more fresh air and use tried-and-true filters, like HEPA, to capture the virus. Yet every ion- or hydroxyl-blasting air purifier sale strengthens a firm’s next pitch: The device is doing a great job in the neighboring town.
“It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more people buy these technologies, the more they get legitimacy,” said Jeffrey Siegel, a civil engineering professor at the University of Toronto. “It’s really the complete wild west out there.”
Marwa Zaatari, a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) Epidemic Task Force, first compiled a list of schools and districts using such devices.
Schools have been “bombarded with persistent salespersons peddling the latest air and cleaning technologies, including those with minimal evidence to-date supporting safety and efficacy” according to a report released Thursday by the Center for Green Schools and ASHRAE.
Zaatari said she was particularly concerned that officials in New Jersey are buying thousands of devices made by another company that says they emit ozone, which can exacerbate asthma and harm developing lungs, according to decades of research.
“We’re going to live in a world where the air quality in schools is worse after the pandemic, after all of this money,” Zaatari said. “It’s really sickening.”
The sales race is fueled by roughly $193 billion in federal funds allocated to schools for teacher pay and safety upgrades — a giant fund that can be used to buy air cleaners. And Democrats are pushing for $100 billion more that could also be spent on air cleaners.
In April, Global Plasma Solutions said further tests show its devices inactivate covid in the air and on surfaces in larger chambers. The company studies still use about twice the level of ions than its leaders have publicly said the devices can deliver, KHN found.
There is virtually no federal oversight or enforcement of safe air-cleaning technology. Only California bans air cleaners that emit a certain amount of ozone.
U.S. Rep. Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.), chair of the education and labor committee, said the federal government typically is not involved in local decisions of what products to buy, although he hopes for more federal guidance.
In the meantime, “these school systems are dealing with contractors providing all kinds of services,” he said, “so you just have to trust them to get the best expert advice on what to do.”
These go-between contractors — and the air cleaner companies themselves — have a stake in the sales. While their names might appear in school board records, their role in selling the device or commission from the deal is seldom made public, KHN found.
A LinkedIn job ad with the logo for one air purifier company, ActivePure Technology, which employs former Trump adviser Dr. Deborah Birx as its chief medical and science adviser, recruited salespeople this way: “Make Tons of Money with this COVID-killing Technology!!” The commission, the post said, is up to $900 per device.
“We have reps [who] made over 6-figures in 1 month selling to 1 school district,” the ad says. “This could be the biggest opportunity you have seen!”
‘A Tiny Bit of Ozone’
Schools in New Jersey have a particularly easy time buying air cleaners called Odorox: A state education agency lists them on their group-purchasing commodity list, with a large unit selling for more than $5,100. Originally used in home restoration and mold remediation, the devices have become popular in New Jersey schools as the company says its products can inactivate covid.
In Newark, administrators welcomed students back to class last month with more than 3,200 Odorox units, purchased with $7.5 million in federal funds, said Steven Morlino, executive director of Facilities Management for Newark Public Schools.
“I think parents feel pretty comfortable that their children are going to a safe environment,” he said. “And so did the staff.”
Environmental health and air-quality experts, though, are alarmed by the district’s plan.
The Pyure company’s Odorox devices are on California air-quality regulators’ list of “potentially hazardous ozone generators sold as air purifiers” and cannot be sold in the state.
A company distributor’s research shows that its Boss XL3 device pumps out as much as 77 parts per billion of ozone, a level that exceeds limits set by California lawmakers for the sale of indoor air cleaners and the EPA standard for ground-level ozone — a limit set to protect children from the well-documented harm of ozone to developing lungs.
That level exceeds the industry’s self-imposed limit by more than 10 times and is “unacceptable,” according to William Bahnfleth, an architectural engineering professor at Penn State who studies indoor air quality and leads the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force.
Jean-Francois “JF” Huc, CEO of the Pyure company, pointed out that the study was done in a space smaller than they would recommend for such a powerful Odorox device. He cautioned that it was done that way to prove that home-restoration workers could be in the room with the device without violating work-safety rules.
“We provide very stringent operating guidelines around the size of room that our different devices should be put in,” he said.
You can’t see or smell ozone, but lungs treat it like a “foreign invader,” said Michael Jerrett, who has studied its health effects as director of the UCLA Center for Occupational and Environmental Health.
Lung cells mount an immune-like response, which can trigger asthma complications and divert energy from normal lung function, he said. Chronic exposure has been linked to more emergency room visits and can even cause premature death. Once harmed, Jerrett said, children’s lungs may not regain full function.
“Ozone is a very serious public health problem,” Jerrett said.
Adding ozone into the classroom is “just nightmarish,” Siegel, of the University of Toronto, said.
Morlino said the district plans to monitor ozone levels in each classroom, based on the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration level for working adults, which is 100 parts per billion.
“In our research of the product,” he said, “we’ve determined it’s within the guidelines the federal government produces.”
While legal for healthy working adults, the work-safety standard should not apply to developing children, said Michael Kleinman, an air-quality researcher at the UC Irvine School of Medicine. “It’s not a good device to be using in the presence of children,” he said.
But the devices are going into schools throughout the state that will not be monitoring ozone levels, acknowledged Dave Matisoff, owner of Bio-Shine, a New Jersey-based distributor of Odorox. He said the main safeguard is informing schools about the appropriate-size room each device should be deployed to, a factor in ozone concentration.
Huc, the CEO, said his team has measured levels of ozone that are higher outdoors in Newark than inside — with his company’s units running.
“There is a tiny bit of ozone that is introduced, but it’s very, very low,” he said. “And you get the benefit of the antimicrobial effect, you get the benefit of reduction of pathogens, which we’ve demonstrated in a number of studies, and you get the reduction of VOC [volatile organic compounds].”
Meanwhile, despite expert concerns, the devices continue to pop up in classrooms and school nurses’ offices across the state, said Allen Barkkume, an industrial hygienist for the New Jersey teachers union.
He doesn’t blame schools for buying them, as they’re a lot less expensive than overhauling ventilation systems. Teachers often push for the devices in their classrooms, he said, as they see them in the nurses’ offices and think it’ll keep them safe. And superintendents are not well-versed in air quality’s complex scientific concepts.
“Nothing sounds better than something that’s cheap, quiet, small and easy to find, and we can stick them in every classroom,” Barkkume said.
Tested in Shoebox, Sold for Classrooms
While New York officials are “not permitting” the installation of ionization devices due to “potential negative health effects,” schools across the state of New Jersey are installing ionizing devices.
Ten miles away from Newark in Montclair, New Jersey, parents have been raising hell over the new Global Plasma Solutions’ ionizing devices in their children’s classrooms. The company website promises a product that emits ions like those “created with energy from rushing water, crashing waves and even sunlight.”
The devices emit positive and negative ions that are meant to help particles clump together, making them easier to filter out. The company says the ions can also reduce the viral particles that cause covid-19.
But Justin Klabin, a building developer with a background in indoor air quality and two sons in the district, was not convinced.
He spent hours compiling scientific evidence. He created painstaking YouTubevideos picking apart the ionizers’ viability and helped organize a petition signed by dozens of parents warning the school board against the installation.
Even so, the district spent $635,900 on installing ionizers, which would go in classrooms serving more than 6,000 kids. The devices are often installed in ducts, an important consideration, the company founder Charles Waddell said, because the ions that are emitted lose their power after 60 seconds.
But the company’s shoebox study and inflated ion blast numbers that helped sell the product last year leave a potential customer with little sense of how the device would perform in a classroom, Zaatari said.
“It’s a high cost for nothing,” Zaatari said. The company has sued her and another air-quality consultant for criticizing their devices. Of the pending case, Zaatari said it is a David-versus-Goliath situation, but she will not be deterred from speaking on behalf of children.
“Size of the [test] chamber has proved not to play a role in efficacy results but rather ion density,” GPS spokesperson Kevin Boyle said in an email. The company notes by its covid-inactivating test results that they “may include … higher-than-average ion concentrations.”
He also said the company is proud to meet the ASHRAE “zero ozone” certification.
Glenn Morrison, a professor of environmental science and engineering at the University of North Carolina, reviewed a March GPS study on a device combating the covid virus in the air. The device appears to reduce virus concentrations, he said in an email, but noted it would not be very effective under normal building conditions, outside a test chamber. “A cheap portable HEPA filter would work many times better and have fewer side effects (possibly ozone or other unwanted chemistry),” he wrote.
Other parents joined Klabin’s campaign, including Melanie Robbins, the mom of a kindergartner and a child in pre-K. Armed with her background in nonprofit advocacy, she reached out to experts. She and other parents spoke at local government meetings about their concerns.
In April, the superintendent told parents the school would turn off the devices, but parents say they haven’t turned them all off.
“As far as I understand, the district has relied only on information from GPS, the manufacturer,” Robbins said during a Montclair Board of Education meeting via Zoom on April 19. “This is like only listening to advice from Philip Morris as to whether smoking is safe or not.”
Dan Daniello, of D&B Building Solutions, an HVAC contracting company, defended GPS products during the meeting. He said they are even in the White House, a selling point the company has made repeatedly.
The catch: A GPS contractor installed its ionization technology in the East Wing of the White House after it was purchased in 2018 — before covid emerged, according to GPS’ Boyle. But the company was still using the White House logo as a marketing image on its website when KHN asked the White House about the advertising in April. It was taken down shortly thereafter.
Boyle said GPS was “recently informed that the White House logo may not be used for marketing purposes, and promptly complied.”
The Montclair school district did not respond to requests for comment.
“I want to bang my head against the wall, it’s so black-and-white,” Robbins said. “Admit this is a poor purchase, the district got played.”
Selling ‘the Big Kahuna’
Academic air-quality experts agree on what’s best for schools: More outside air pumped into classes, MERV 13 filters in heating systems and portable HEPA filters. The solution is time-tested and effective, they say. Yet as common commodities, like a pair of khaki pants, these items are not widely flogged by a sales force chasing big commissions.
After covid hit, Tony Barron said the companies pitched air purifying technology nonstop to the Kansas district where he worked as a facility manager last fall.
Pressure came from inside the school as well. Teachers sent links for air cleaners they saw on the news. His superintendent had him meet with a friend who sold ionization products. He got constant calls, mail and email from mechanical engineering companies.
The hundreds of phone calls from air cleaner pitches were overwhelming, said Chris Crockett, director of facilities for Turner USD 202 in Kansas City, Kansas. While he wanted to trust the contractors he had worked with, he tested four products before deciding to spend several hundred thousands of dollars.
“Custodial supply companies see the writing on the wall, that there’s a lot of money out there,” he said. “And then a lot of money is going to be spent on HVAC systems.”
ActivePure says on its website that its air purifiers are in hundreds of schools. In a press release, the company said they were “sold through a nationwide network of several hundred franchises, 5,000 general contractors/HVAC specialists and thousands of individual distributors.”
Enviro Technology Pros, founded in January, is one company pitching ActivePure to HVAC contractors. In a YouTube video, the founders said contractors can make $950 for each air-cleaning device sold, and some dealers can make up to $30,000 a month. Citing the bounty of the billions in federal relief, another video touted ready-made campaigns to target school principals directly.
After KHN asked ActivePure for comment, the Enviro Technology Pros YouTube videos about ActivePure were no longer accessible publicly.
ActivePure did not respond to requests for comment but has said its devices are effective and one is validated by the Food and Drug Administration.
An Enviro Technology Pros founder, Rod Norman, told KHN the company was asked to take the posts down by Vollara, a company related to ActivePure. He called sales to schools “the big kahuna.”
Shortly after he spoke with KHN, the website for his own company was taken down.
This story was produced by KHN (Kaiser Health News), a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.
In case anyone is looking for another good cause and a tax deductible donation…
As you probably know, I’ve been operating the website SolveEczema.org for over 15 years, to share what I’ve learned about how to solve eczema and related conditions, to reduce allergy and achieve clear, healthy skin. I’ve done everything I can to share my solution freely and publicly so more families can get the relief that my family experienced when we finally figured out how to heal our son’s skin. And over the years, scores of parents (and even doctors and nurses) have written to me to tell me how happy they were to discover my website and finally find a way to stop their children’s pain and help them achieve normal skin. Over and over, they have told me that their children could sleep through the night for the first time in their lives after using my website.
But I need help getting my solution into the mainstream. I need to get my research recognized and published so the mainstream medical establishment—pediatricians and dermatologists—will respect my methods, learn about our family’s approach to solving eczema, and spread the information to the wider public. This effort has truly been my life’s work for almost 20 years now.
So I’m excited to announce that I can now accept tax-deductible donations through the Ronin Institute, where I’m a Research Scholar. The Ronin Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports independent scholarly research (donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law). Working through the Ronin Institute will give me the validation I need to establish my findings as scientifically sound and worthy of recognition.
In order to move forward, I need to hire people who are better science writers than I am, I need professional work on the website, and ultimately I need to do a formal clinical study according to accepted standards. And I need the funds to pay for all these things.
You make a tax-deductible donation through the Ronin Institute here:
Once there you’ll see a drop-down menu titled “Please direct my donation to:” with“Solve Eczema” selected (leave that selected). The rest is self-explanatory.
I’ve tried crowdfunding, which helped a lot in keeping the website up and running (including the tools and technology). I have some affiliate marketing links on my website, but it brings in very little money. It has never been my intent to monetize my knowledge. I just want to share my solution as widely as possible to bring relief to families who need it as badly as ours did 20 years ago.
Please help me complete this important work on a real solution to eczema. I’m excited about finding a place that will support my research and enable me to prove the effectiveness of my solution and share it with the widest possible audience. You can help me do this and help other families too. I would really appreciate your help.
If you have any questions about my research on eczema or the Ronin Institute, please feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to talk with you. Please share this with anyone you think might be interested in this work.
The article points out that occupied rooms can easily have CO2 levels of 1,000ppm or higher: “Decision-making decreased moderately at 1,000 ppm as measured on seven of the nine scales, with decreases ranging from 11 to 23 percent, and significantly on those same scales at 2,500 ppm, with decreases of 44 to 94 percent. The most dramatic effects were found in the participants’ ability to engage in strategic thinking and take initiative.”
Note the most dramatic impact is on executive function!
Even a single person in a small room can raise CO2 levels into this range. I already knew all this, but for those stuck at home working and studying in small rooms, it can be hard to know how much anything we do, like opening windows, or keeping a door open during the day, or the house heating system, improves ventilation and CO2 levels. Students may need to keep their doors closed in order to maintain peace and quiet, but that has to be balanced against pragmatic steps to keep CO2 levels to a healthy level.
As I wrote in a previous post, a surprising number of schools don’t measure up when it comes to proper ventilation. Nevertheless, many schools and workplaces do pay attention to proper ventilation, something we take for granted at home. With people at home for long stretches of time, and college students having to work from the dorm rooms, it’s up to us to pay attention to the issue.
So I bit the bullet and bought a well-reviewed CO2 monitor Now we can make adjustments based on data to keep those levels closer to what’s outside, which is around 380ppm according to the article. In practice, we found that closing the door to the room allowed levels to quickly exceed 1,600ppm, which according to research would mean a decline in cognitive function. Leaving a window open kept the levels to 500-600ppm, but wasn’t practical with classes. So we again bit the bullet and got a pair of noise cancelling headphones that also receive audio from the computer, to allow for leaving the door open with less distraction. (One had already been recommended by a professional for other reasons.)
Especially if there are other reasons a child has difficulties, maintaining indoor air quality is so important to their health and school performance. I have done a lot of personal research on the issue of indoor air quality in indoor spaces and health, and CO2 levels aren’t anywhere near the top of the list of concerns, yet they should be, based on research. I hope this information about CO2 helps people to more easily make decisions about improved ventilation and air quality related to Covid control, too.