Reducing stress levels 
In areas where students and staff spend most of their time, such as dormitories and lecture halls, maintaining RH levels between 30% - 60% in highly used areas may lower stress levels.1 A study comparing occupants in an environment with a RH level between 30% - 60% and those in drier conditions measured a 25% difference in stress response levels. 

Reducing the spread of viruses 

When the RH level is 23% or less, viruses retain about 70% - 77% infectivity compared to only 15–22% of viruses where the RH level is greater than or equal to 43%.2  Maintaining RH levels between 40 to 60 percent not only decreases bacteria and viruses in the air, but hinders the development of fungi, mites, chemical interactions, and ozone production.  
Only 46% of university students 18-24 years old currently attending a two- or four-year college or university get an annual flu shot.3 Using non-pharmaceutical interventions like humidification to complement vaccinations is a safe, efficient, and easy way to reduce the spread of influenza and protect staff members and students.   
An assessment administered to Villanova University undergraduate students found 17% of those assessed said cold/flu/sore throats had affected their academic performance.4 Properly controlled RH reduces the spread of airborne viruses.  
Decreased absences  
Maintain the recommended RH level especially within dormitories and cafeterias, to lessen the impact of contagious respiratory illnesses like seasonal influenza and the SARS-CoV-2 virus.   

Absences of staff, faculty, and students increase during the dry winter months, often due to chronic
respiratory illnesses. Research has established that flu outbreaks can be predicted 14 to 16 days after
outdoor humidity bottoms out in the continental United States. 


Dry air can cause damage to furnishings, musical instruments, gymnasiums, lecture halls, and other building materials, Humidification can protect against:  
● Cracking and splitting of flooring or woodwork 
● Deterioration of fabrics and other materials 
● Damage to finishes and surface distortion 


Buyer’s Guide: Humidification for Universities 
Learn more how controlling the relative humidity within a university can keep staff, faculty members, students, and the surrounding community safe. 


1. “Wellbuilt for wellbeing: Controlling relative humidity in the workplace matters for our health,” Wiley Online Library, Indoor Air, 30, October 2020
2. ”High Humidity Leads to Loss of Infectious Virus from Simulated Cough,” Rong, Lijun, 2013 February
3. ”Addressing the Challenges of Influenza Vaccination on US College Campuses,” NFID Report, May 2016
4. “Focus on Top Impediments to Academic Success,” Villanova University Prevention Points, Vol 1, Issue No. 1

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