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Deborah Moore Green Schools Initiative Cleaning for Healthy Schools: Good for your health, the planet, and your bottom line 510-525-1026

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Presentation on theme: "Deborah Moore Green Schools Initiative Cleaning for Healthy Schools: Good for your health, the planet, and your bottom line 510-525-1026"— Presentation transcript:

1 Deborah Moore Green Schools Initiative Cleaning for Healthy Schools: Good for your health, the planet, and your bottom line

2 2 Healthy Schools: Green Cleaning and Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Challenges of Traditional Approach to Cleaning What is “Green” Cleaning Benefits of Cleaning for Health What you can do: Best practices and products Examples of Success

3 Overview of the Challenge  The school’s challenge: vulnerable people in heavily used, densely occupied spaces  One-half of our schools have indoor environmental quality (IEQ) problems  Children are more vulnerable than adults to toxins  Absenteeism, lower productivity and test scores 3

4 Health Hazards of Cleaning Products Ingredients in common cleaning products have been linked to:  New cases of asthma and triggering asthma episodes  Harming the brain, nervous system, reproductive organs, kidneys and liver  Irritating eyes and causing headaches  Breathing problems and illnesses  Disrupting/acting like hormones  Cancer

5  5 billion pounds used annually  A single custodial worker uses, on average, 194 pounds of chemicals each year  25% of these are hazardous substances  Custodians and teachers experience some of the highest rates of occupational asthma  $25 million/yr in worker comp claims  6 out of 100 custodians are injured each year  20% are serious burns to the eyes or skin  12% are a result of inhaling chemical vapours Workers & Hazardous Cleaners

6 Health Affects Learning and Productivity Asthma is leading cause of school absenteeism from a chronic illness, ~1.9 million missed school days in CA in 2005 Loss of ~$40.8 million to schools from asthma absences of year-olds Lower academic achievement is associated with asthmatic students

7 The Solution? Green Cleaning! Cleaning that: Protects the health of workers, children, and the public Improves indoor air quality (IAQ) Reduces environmental impacts: o Smog, ozone depletion, global warming o Toxicity to fish, wildlife

8 8

9 Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) EPP = Environment + Price + Performance

10 Low toxicity No cancer-causing ingredients, no asthmagens Not corrosive to eyes or skin or skin sensitizer Won’t pollute air or deplete ozone layer Won’t kill fish Will biodegrade Low phosphorous Package recyclable Available as concentrate Limits on fragrances used Certain ingredients prohibited Performance tested Vendor training available What are green cleaners? E.g. Green Seal standard

11 Advertising and labels not always reliable Schools and agencies can rely on third party certifiers to evaluate products against specific standards and criteria Made by mainstream companies, comparable price, demonstrated performance General, all-purpose cleaners and other products widely available:  Concentrated cleaners with automated dispensing systems  Hand soaps (not antibacterial)  Paper products  chlorine-free, recycled  tissue & towels on large rolls Use Third-Party Certified Products

12 Green Schools Buying Guide:

13 From Green Schools Buying Guide on Cleaners: Audit Form Cost Calculator Overview of Policies Tools for writing a green bid Information on state procurement contracts and other discounts

14  Choose safer products: Use less- toxic, third-party certified cleaners, paper products and hand soaps  Keep the dirt out; use easy-to-clean flooring  Reduce quantities of chemicals, Minimize exposures, Dilute properly  Update and maintain equipment – HEPA vacuums, micro-fiber, dilution stations  Disinfect only in target areas  Avoid aerosols & fragrances - clean doesn't have an odor Cleaning for Health Best Practices

15 Minimize Disinfectant Use All disinfectants are toxic (EPA-registered pesticides) Disinfectants should be… Used only when needed Applied only after surface is cleaned Properly diluted Avoiding “quats” Follow manufacturer’s instructions Require training of workers Consider peroxide-based disinfectants

16 What about H1N1? According to the CDC: School staff should routinely clean areas that students and staff touch often with the cleaners and disinfectants they typically use. The CDC does not believe any additional disinfection of environmental surfaces beyond recommended routine cleaning is required.

17 Better Cleaning Equipment Use updated equipment to reduce particulates in the air  Install dirt-grabbing walk-off mats inside and outside entrances, recommended 15’ – 20’  Use microfiber cloths and mops that pick up dirt while using a reduced amount of chemicals  Employ HEPA vacuums or microfiber mops instead of conventional dust mops  Install high-filtration vacuum attachments on other floor-care equipment 17

18 Try Microfiber Cost-effective (life-cycle basis) Reduce chemical use (~1/2) Minimize water use (up to 95%) Prevent injuries (chemical exposure, back strain, accidents) Effective (reduce dirt, avoid cross-contamination)

19 Avoid Anti-bacterial Soap US Food and Drug Administration: No more effective than soap & water May increase germs’ resistance to antibiotics Can strip hands of oil & “friendly” bacteria Triclosan may interfere with hormone system; creates toxic byproducts Found in: Hand soaps, toothpaste, dishwashing liquids and sponges

20  Assess current products, practices, and budget  Test a few certified “green” products  Talk to existing vendors, building occupants, staff  Train staff with new products/methods  Track and reward success  Get a CHPS or LEED credit  Adopt a local district policy Making the switch: Overview of the process

21 Green cleaning releases one-sixth the air pollution

22 General purpose cleaners

23 Green Cleaners Save $  Reducing variety of products used Replacing 20 products with 1 Green Seal product saved $280,000/year at Riverside Military Academy, Gainesville, GA  Reducing amount of chemicals used via best practices, dilution equipment Palm Beach schools saving $360,000/yr  Purchasing with procurement contracts Novato Unified switched with no additional cost; Waxie offers 45% discounts, US Communities, State of California

24 Green Cleaning Products: Performed as Well or Better Peroxide cleaner/disinfectant effective at removing dirt whitened grout, cleaned carpets/mirrors left no residue to rinse eliminated restroom odors and “blue” staining Green Seal-certified floor stripper removed old wax with less rinsing needed Microfiber mops more effective, especially around edges

25 Vermont school reported:  60% decrease in asthma attacks (from 15 to 6)  37% reduction in reported cold symptoms (from 230 to 144) Health & Safety Improvements

26  Lack of awareness  Teachers or children supplying cleaning products from home  Inappropriate or overuse of disinfectants  Classrooms not ready to be cleaned; storage and desk/chair arrangements  Perception of higher costs  Custodians wary of change What are the challenges at your school? Implementation Challenges

27 Green Cleaning Resources - Cleaning for Healthy Schools Toolkit National Collaborative Workgroup on Green Cleaning and Chemical Policy Reform in Schools - Cleaning for Health Report (2002) - Green Cleaning: Healthier Cleaning and Maintenance Practices and Products for Schools - Breathing Easier: California Success Stories - Environmental Law Institute: Sample Policies

28 More Green Cleaning Resources - Quick & Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools clean_schools/guide.php clean_schools/guide.php - Janitorial Products Pollution Prevention Project offers fact sheets on safe and effective cleaning methods - Graffiti Remover Research and Field Test Report: The Search for Safer Products

29 Contact Deborah Moore Green Schools Initiative


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