Environmental Health

Clean Green

Take the challenge to clean green because many of the products that we currently use for cleaning are a threat to our health and our environment. Do you remember the last time you were in the cleaning isle of the grocery store, how strong the odors were? Many of those odors are strong smelling because they use deodorizers to cover the pungent smell of chemicals. Toxic chemical ingredients are found in many drain cleaners, oven cleaners, window sprays, toilet cleaners, scouring powders, dish-washing detergents, disinfectants, deodorizers, and floor and carpet cleaners—all products that we use inside closed doors where we breathe in their fumes.

According to the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, many common cleaners emit toxic pollutants that might lead to health risks. New American Dream reports that one third of the cleaning products currently used by janitorial staff can cause harm to the skin, eye irritation, cancer, and even reproductive disorders.

According to Healthy Schools Network, Inc. , these health effects are greater in children because children consume a higher proportion of food and liquids and breathe more air relative to their body size than adults. They are also in rapid growth development. Besides direct health effects, students’ behavior, ability to concentrate, and academic performance can also be affected.

The Healthy Schools Network, Inc. explains that chemicals can enter the body from being inhaled, touching the skin, or making it into the mouth. Children often touch everything and frequently put their hands in their mouth. Therefore, the best prevention you can take in your school is to pledge to clean green, so that children won’t even be exposed to dangerous chemicals in the first place. Many people are switching to alternative cleaning products that are safer for the environment and safer for you and your students. You can make the switch too, and we have the resources to help you try some effective home-made cleaning products and make educated decisions about buying manufactured products that claim to be non-toxic and environmentally friendly.