May is Asthma Awareness Month: Consider Using Safer Cleaning Products in Our Schools

Q & A: Green Cleaners are Better for our Health

Did you know that all of the Boston schools are cleaned with healthier “green certified” cleaners? Green cleaners can improve indoor air quality because they have fewer harmful chemicals compared to regular cleaners. They are safer and better for students and staff with asthma and work as well as any other cleaner. The City-wide Healthy Schools Taskforce worked with custodians and school staff to approve a “green cleaning” policy for all Boston schools.

 Do “green” cleaners kill germs? Studies have shown that a general purpose “green” cleaner can effectively remove 99.9 % of microbes. Disinfectants are not “green cleaners” because they have toxic ingredients that destroy bacteria and germs. Disinfectants should only be used for targeted cleaning (ex. bathrooms, cafeterias, etc.) and for special cleaning necessary for infectious outbreaks. Many teachers may be using products that are respiratory irritants or have unnecessary toxic ingredients. Hand washing Kills Germs too! Germs and infectious diseases are not just on surfaces in schools. They are also on us! According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), hand washing is one of the most effective ways to protect against germs that get picked up from other people, or from contaminated surfaces. http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/ (information that can be used in the classroom)

 What products can I use to do some cleaning in my classroom? The BPS Green Cleaning

Policy states that teachers are not to bring any of their own cleaning products to school. Ask the Principal for a bottle of the “approved” green cleaner for your use. Let us know if you are unable to get the “approved” cleaner.  For more information about improving environmental conditions in your schools contact Al Vega, al.vega@masscosh.org – a member of the BPS Healthy Schools Taskforce.

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