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Chinook Arch makes carbon dioxide monitors available to loan from local libraries

Posted on August 30, 2023 by Sunny South News

By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News

The Chinook Arch Regional Library System (CARLS), is adding Carbon Dioxide monitors to their inventory to allow members to borrow and test indoor air quality in their own homes.

The new offering from Chinook Arch Regional Library System is being supported through a partnership with Community Access to Ventilation Information (CAVI), and will ensure people in southwestern Alberta have a way to easily monitor CO2 levels in their homes.

Indoor air quality is impacted by a number of factors including exhalations, which add CO2 to the air, and CO2 levels can rise quickly in a room with more people and little ventilation or fresh air coming into the space. High levels of indoor CO2 can cause fatigue, headaches, and other symptoms. Monitoring CO2 levels can help people determine if additional simple steps should be taken to mitigate the risk of viral transmissions. Indoor pollutants also include respiratory particles and the viruses which are transmitted through droplets via airborne transmission.

The CARLS recently published a release providing information on the new monitors which will be available for loan across 22 libraries in southern Alberta. The release reiterated the CO2 monitors available for loan, “are not carbon monoxide (CO) monitors, nor are they life-saving devices. CO2 monitors are tools for educational purposes. While CO2 monitors can help to assess the ventilation of a space, they do not directly measure the risk of infection with airborne diseases.”

CARLS, in partnership with CAVI, recommends opening a window or reducing the number of people in a room as simple ways to reduce CO2 in a space.

CEO of Chinook Arch, Robin Hepher stressed that public libraries provide many valuable services beyond book loans.

“Today’s public library is all about providing information to help people navigate a changing world, and these CO2 monitors are consistent with that mission,” and added Chinook Arch is, “so pleased to partner with CAVI to make these monitors available free of charge to library users across southwestern Alberta.”

The Raymond Public Library and Picture Butte Public Library confirmed receipt of the monitor as of Aug. 25, while other libraries in the greater Lethbridge area said they were expecting the monitors to arrive in the coming days, and will be available for loan for up to one week at the following locations:

Barnwell, Carmangay, Champion, Claresholm, Coaldale, Coutts, Crowsnest, Fort Macleod, Glenwood, Grassy Lake, Hays, Lomond, Magrath, Milk River, Picture Butte, Pincher Creek, Raymond, Stirling, Taber, Vauxhall, Vulcan, and Warner.

Danielle Cane, Secretary-Treasurer and co-founder of CAVI said in the release Chinook Arch is among several other libraries in Canada to participate in the CO2 monitor loaning program.

“Since our first program launched in April 2022, we have seen remarkable interest and growth among libraries and the general public alike in better understanding indoor air quality with the help of these CO2 monitor devices. This is community science at its best, and public libraries such as Chinook Arch play such a vital role in encouraging scientific literacy. We are thrilled to support this launch.”

The Chinook Arch Regional Library System is an inter-municipal collaboration which allows libraries and members improved access to the quantity and quality of library materials and services within the region. For more information, visit https://www.chinookarch.ca/.

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