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Sustainability

Steps to reduce indoor air pollution

September 19, 2010
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When it comes to cleaning and reducing indoor air pollution, the solution is not simply to avoid cleaning. While many people would like to take that route, cleaning is necessary in minimizing allergens and toxins in the indoor air. Here are a few steps to take to reduce your risk of chemical exposure during and after cleaning:

  • Select products that have been third-party verified to be non-toxic and have low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
  • More is not better. Follow manufacturers’ dilution requirements for cleaners and use provided or recommended product application devices only.
  • Make sure building ventilation is on during and after cleaning. Otherwise, the chemicals remain trapped in the indoor space until it is reoccupied.
  • Rinse all solid surfaces with water to remove excess chemicals.
  • Use vacuums only with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.
  • Use microfiber dust cloths and sweepers for all hard surfaces.
  • Avoid terpene-scented cleaners which can add VOCs to the air and react with ozone.
  • Avoid ozone air purifiers to reduce odors.
  • Vacuum and spot clean carpet nightly and clean periodically with an efficient hot water extraction system.
  • Clean up any spilled water immediately and remove any building material that has visible mold.
  • Train your staff. Make sure defined procedures are set out for everyone to follow, a periodic schedule is put into place, proper storage is utilized and that waste is properly disposed of.

For more information, please visit www.greenguard.org.

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