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Exposure to pests and pesticides is a ubiquitous, pernicious health threat inside the city's aging homes, where residents spend up to 90% of their time. This exposure is taking its toll at the local and national levels: at the national level, for example, over the past 20 years asthma rates have increased 74% and deaths have increased by 50% (Environmental Health Watch). Contributing factors to this problem include routine pesticide spraying and fumigating by public and private pest control services, easy availability of the legal and illegal pesticides prized for their effectiveness, and the lack of awareness of and access to healthier pest management resources. PSCIP offers a safe and effective alternative through its Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach, that uses strategies such as sealing cracks and crevices, removing sources of food for pests, and careful use of least toxic baits and gels.
The proposed project will disseminate information about IPM strategies and empower communities to use them through a three-component initiative that will:
The Healthy Air in Healthy Homes project will increase Philadelphians' knowledge and awareness of the risks of pests and pesticides; improve the indoor air quality in homes and schools; reduce rates of asthma and other respiratory ailments; residents will be able to buy and use safe pest management strategies and commercial products; and all of these changes will be supported by a concerned and informed city government at all levels.
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