While it is well understood that air pollution affects the air we breathe outdoors, it is less known that indoor air quality is a serious and important issue. Our indoor air quality is affected by the cleaning products we use and the furniture we buy. It is is best to purchase "green" cleaning supplies, which don't contain toxic substances known to trigger eye, skin and throat irritation along with a host of other more serious ailments. Additionally, it's best to purchase sustainably sourced and environmentally conscious furniture, textiles, flooring, and kitchen supplies, because certain products begin to release toxins when exposed to high heat. Air flow is essential to air quality indoors and should be made a top priority.
It is also important to be conscious of indoor pesticides. Pesticides are used for structural pest control in buildings and have significant health implications for building occupants even in small quantities and especially for children. Indoors, it is best to use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system and adhere to it as strictly as possible. IPM is a practice that involves the use of least toxic pesticides first and consideration of more toxic pesticides only after other methods have been exhausted. It is most valuable to use a strict IPM approach for indoor use. There are many non-toxic pest mitigation measures available that will help avoid the use of toxic pesticides inside where people live, learn, work, eat, and play. After these non-toxic measures have been tried first, a least toxic pesticide can be considered and, if possible, used only in areas that are inaccessible to most building occupants.
An IPM approach does not make sense for the aesthetic use of pesticides on outdoor property such as gardens, lawns, play and sports areas. Organic land care and its cost effective cultural practices and pesticide-free soil amendments emphasize soil health. Introducing aesthetic pesticide applications to outdoor areas will be harmful to the beneficial organisms that balance and support healthy soil biology needed for lush and healthy lawns and landscapes.
Also included in this category is the use and sourcing of non-harmful outdoor structures, coatings, and building materials.
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