I have been to THREE different doctor's, including an ENT, who all said "yes that BLACK air filter could be responsible" for my declining health when teaching. I had a scope done of my vocal cords to make sure I didn't have vocal nodules or tumors because I was losing my voice constantly when at school. If you don't know how they do that, they shove a camera up your nose and down your throat. It isn't particularly enjoyable. I wouldn't recommend it for fun or anything. I don't have nodules. I don't have cancer. My ENT said this is allergies. And when I asked her if it could be allergies to my work environment, and showed her the pictures of the black air filter, her response was, "yeah that would do it."
My principal had me teach out of the school building for a week following spring break last year and I went back to the ENT for the third time to see if there was noticeable improvement. There was. Magically so much better, at least that seems to be what you are insinuating, that it was magic because certainly it wasn't my room causing it. The ENT felt so confident in the improvement of my symptoms (I didn't have symptoms at that appointment), that she even wrote me a letter to give me more credibility.
Oh, I guess I should mention I was relocated to follow COVID protocols during the heat of the pandemic. The 20-21 school year they found room for me inside the building. I didn't get sick. At all. Didn't miss a day of school either. I was in great health.
I am not an HVAC specialist, but I also am not an idiot. I know what filters are designed for. I know they make different types of filters and that they have different levels of effectiveness at "filtering" out air contaminants. I also know if they are BLACK and have patches of white mold growing on them, that they are not exactly doing anything good for the air quality they put out. If I avoid walking in the back part of the room where the air is blowing, or just hold my breath if I need to, I don't get as sick. Do you think that is more magic or just a coincidence?
Also, the two times last year I almost developed pneumonia were following them replacing the BLACK (I feel the need to keep telling you the white air filters are literally black...on no planet is that safe/healthy) air filter in the middle of the school day. Then I taught in there all afternoon and breathed in whatever was on the air filter. I don't just almost develop pneumonia all the time. That isn't exactly a normal thing for me. So no, I don't really think the timing was just some crazy coincidence. Maybe magic though.
I also get better over the weekends. Over the holidays. Whenever I am not in the portable buildings. Pretty sure the allergens don't just take a break on Saturdays and Sundays. Or take a week off for Thanksgiving. Or two weeks for Christmas. Or a week for Spring Break. I don't think they get holidays or days off.
So to answer you questions a bit more specifically,
-They use the crap cheap air filters, the ones you cut with a box knife or scissors to size. The cheapest of cheap. They cost next to nothing.
-I have hundreds of photographs documenting time and time when the air filters hadn't been replaced in well over a month and they are BLACK. Not sure if I would call a once white but now BLACK air filter "safe."
-Do I have concrete irrefutable proof that every health concern I have experienced in this district is due to the air filter? Um...no. You know that isn't possible. But if you think for one second that all of this is a coincidence, that the three different medical professionals I have seen are incompetent, that an air filter that is BLACK somehow is ok...well then you certainly can't connect the dots. (Also, I have doctor's notes supporting this from all three doctors. So they feel confident enough about this that they are willing to sign their name by it.)
I am on the District Leadership Team by the way. I get monthly face time with our Super. I don't even have to walk into his office chomping at the bit. When I saw him over the summer at Costco he gave me a hug, asked about my parents, and we shared our summer adventures. Not sure why you are under the impression that that I wouldn't be happy with the results of going to him. I don't think anyone is perfect, but I know I would not live to regret talking to him in another two weeks at our DLT meeting about my growing concerns.
Only reason I havn't is I wasn't trying to get anyone in trouble. I actually like my principal. We have a pretty great relationship. I don't think she is doing the most amazing job right now. However, that doesn't change the fact that I like her, believe in her, and know she is a good person. I don't want this to come down on her. I want it to come down on the third party company responsible for replacing our air filters. After 4 years of negligence on their part they deserve to be fired. We are a big district, with an HVAC department, we shouldn't be employing some third party company to replace air filters anymore. We should be taking care of that in house. Not to mention the added safety concerns of them coming into our building and being around our kids. I don't know that there is validity to this claim, but I read a review that they have sex offenders working for them. Might now be true, but if it is that is disgusting.
You might be interested to know, since you think I am an irrational person for some reason for wanting clean air filters in my room, that the air filter company came out yesterday. To replace the air filters. After probably over two months. I say probably because I hadn't kept documentation of their last replacement over the summer. I have been writing dates on the air filters after they are replaced to keep track, but I wasn't exactly going to come sit up at school all summer to ensure they were doing their job. They hadn't been replaced since we came back, that's for sure. Well I know you are thinking to yourself, they came yesterday, why are you complaining, you are impossible to please. Because....they didn't replace any of the air filters in the portables. Homeboys went in the school, into the attic, replaced all of the main buildings air filters, and didn't come out to the portables. They just left. If that doesn't prove my point that they aren't taking care of it, I am not sure what will.
Not sure what your job title is, but sounds like you might be a good Chief of Operations. Our Chief of Operations responded just about like you did.
I have really run out of patience with people who don't see anything wrong with this.
Most people on this thread were supportive and gave legit advice. I guess there is a Richard in every crowd.