TOXICS INFORMATION PROJECT (TIP)

LIBERTY GOODWIN, DIRECTOR

P.O. Box 40441, Providence, RI 02940

Tel. 401-351-9193, E-Mail: TIP@toxicsinfo.org

WEBSITE:  www.toxicsinfo.org

(Lighting the Way to Less Toxic Living)

 

 

THOUGHTS ON LEGISLATION TO REQUIRE

 

GREEN CLEANING IN RHODE ISLAND SCHOOLS

 

(In Support of H5358)

 

 

1.  WHY NOT CONTINUE WITH CURRENT PRACTICES AND MATERIALS?

 

Because children in general are vulnerable to the chemicals in typical commercial cleaners.  Because those with asthma, whether student, teacher or maintenance worker, are especially susceptible to attacks triggered by such chemicals.  Because researchers have found connections between cleaning products and conditions such as learning disabilities, endocrine disruption, and cancer. 

 

2.  WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES, THEIR BENEFITS AND COSTS?

 

There are many, many “green” cleaning products being developed and offered every year.  They are being used in more and more schools around the country.  In many cases, utilizing green practices and materials saves money.  In addition to purchasing costs, there can be significant savings because of health benefits for staff and students from using safer products. 

 

3.  WHAT POSITIONS HAVE OTHER STATES TAKEN ON THIS CONCERN?

 

At least fifteen states and as many cities or towns have taken action to green their schools. 

 

4.  WHAT CHANGES IN THE BILL MIGHT BE DESIRABLE OR NEEDED?

 

A. It should be required that schools should use products that are healthful, not just environmentally friendly.  It is as important to protect people as to conserve and reduce pollution.   It would be helpful to mention in the bill some of the conditions which can be affected by cleaning chemicals. 

 

B.  AGENCY RESPONSIBILITY.  Indicate which agencies should coordinate implementation and enforcement.  Most likely RIDE and RIDOH.

 

C.  STANDARDS DEFINITION & PREFERRED PRODUCTS.  Guidelines will be needed.  The bill might reference model standards to look to - preferably those from Missouri & NIBS.  It should specifically exclude all fragranced products, which can trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions in susceptible people.  Also, any independent staff purchases should be required to meet the same standards as those provided by the school.

 

5.  OTHER CONSIDERATIONS.  Given agency personnel cuts, outside help is likely to be the best way to encourage progress on carrying out the goals of the bill.  There are a number of efforts toward healthy schools in the state, through agencies and organizations.  These groups could be enlisted to help with follow-up to the bill.  Companies providing green products should be involved, and can offer training for maintenance people.  Finally, savings could result from more cooperative purchasing.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE:  THIS IS TRULY A WIN-WIN PIECE OF LEGISLATION.  IT PROVIDES A HEALTHIER SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT AT THE SAME OR LESS COST!  PLEASE PASS IT!

 

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MISSOURI KIDS HEALTH COALITION

 

Recommendations and Education from Doctors/Professors

http://missourikidshealthcoalition.wetpaint.com/page/Recommendations+and+Education+from+Doctors%2FProfessors  Several physicians and professors have provided the Missouri Kids Health Coalition with letters of suggestion and educational materials.  Follow the links to see their comments:

 

Dr. Claudia S. Miller, M.D., M.S. Professor, Occupational and Environmental Medicine,

Assistant Dean, MD/MPH Program, Vice Chair, Community Medicine, Department of Family

and Community Medicine, Director, South Texas Environmental Education and Research (STEER) Program in Laredo & Harlingen, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

http://missourikidshealthcoalition.wetpaint.com/page/Dr.+Claudia+Miller%2C+M.D

 

Excerpt:  “I am particularly concerned about the use of so-called "green" cleaning products that may in fact contain fragranced materials. Fragrances are complex chemicals.  Often they are used to "mask" other odors and can give the false impression that air is clean.  Truly clean air has no smell.  There are approximately 3000 chemicals used in the manufacture of fragrances.  Most of these are synthetic and derived from petroleum, not from the flowers or spices they emulate.  Most remain untested, so we lack understanding of the potential health effects for those who are exposed and may be more susceptible.  One major problem is that we usually don’t know who is more susceptible until after they become sick!  Potentially hazardous chemicals found in fragrance formulations include toluene, alcohols, formaldehyde, styrene, benzene, limonene, musk, and phthalates.  An individual fragrance formula may contain over 100 chemicals, but their identities are protected as trade secrets, so this information does not appear on product labels.  Fragrances do not have to be tested for safety before they are put on the market (3).”

 

Exposure to fragrances can trigger asthma attacks, migraine headaches, and can aggravate sinus conditions….In 1986, the National Academy of Sciences targeted fragrances as one of the six categories of chemicals that should be given high priority for neurotoxicity testing.  The others include insecticides, heavy metals, solvents, food additives and certain air pollutants.  The report states that 95 percent of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes, and many other known toxics and sensitizers, which are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions."(4).

 

Dr. Ann Steinemann, PhD Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor, Public Affairs, University of Washington  http://missourikidshealthcoalition.wetpaint.com/page/Dr.+Ann+Steinemann%2C+PhD

 

Dr. Doris Rapp,M.D., F.A.A.A., F.A.A.P. Board certified in Pediatrics, Allergy and Environmental Medicine, Former Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at SUNYAB

http://missourikidshealthcoalition.wetpaint.com/page/Dr.+Doris+Rapp%2C+M.D.

 

Dr. Jill Stein, M.D., Board, Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility
Co-Author, In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, Somerville, MA 02143-3040

http://missourikidshealthcoalition.wetpaint.com/page/Dr.+Jill%2C+Stein%2C+M.D. 

 

Dr. William J. Rea, MD, FACS, FAAEM, Founder and Director of the Environmental Health Center-Dallas, 8345 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 205, Dallas, TX 75231

http://missourikidshealthcoalition.wetpaint.com/page/Dr.+William+Rea%2C+MD

 

Dr. Grace Ziem, M.D., Dr. P.H., Occupational and Environmental Health
16926 Eyler's Valley Road, Emmitsburg, MD 21727-9729

http://missourikidshealthcoalition.wetpaint.com/page/Dr.+Grace+Ziem%2CMD%2C+Dr.+P.H.

 

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Read what  nurses, disability advocates missouri citizens or nation-wide concerned individuals had to say, at: http://missourikidshealthcoalition.wetpaint.com/page/Recommendations+and+Education+from+Doctors%2FProfessors

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Review Missouri Kids Health Coalition Concerns & Recommendations for this committee at:

http://missourikidshealthcoalition.wetpaint.com/page/Missouri%27s+Green+Cleaning+Committee+Concerns+and+Recommendations, including the following excerpt:

 

In order to avoid limiting access to individuals with asthma, allergies, chemical intolerance and other health concerns and to keep our nation’s children, who are a vulnerable population by their very nature out of harm’s way, a best practices recommendation for “green” cleaning in schools would best be modeled after the National Institute of Building Sciences and The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board), “Accessibility Guidelines for Indoor Environmental Quality” http://ieq.nibs.org/om/bi_intro.php . Using this preexisting and authoritative guide on indoor environmental quality from the access board to guide our schools will satisfy all the concerns above. It provides simple guidelines that are generic, cost-effective, fair, health oriented, all inclusive, and non-biased best practices for green cleaning in schools in a restricted time frame, while expending the least amount of resources.  In a time of economic hardship, when resources are limited, healthcare is sparse and health concerns for our children are growing, it is a no-brainer decision.

 

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF BUILDING SCIENCES INDOOR AIR QUALITY REPORT

 

OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE,    http://ieq.nibs.org/om/bi_intro.php

 

Recommended Actions For Facility Managers and Operations & Maintenance Staff

http://ieq.nibs.org/om/ra_intro.php

 

Detailed Recommendations for Pest Control http://ieq.nibs.org/om/app_pests.php

 

Detailed Recommendations for Cleaning & Disinfecting http://ieq.nibs.org/om/app_cleaning.php

 

Here are letters from disability organizations:

http://missourikidshealthcoalition.wetpaint.com/page/Recommendations+from+Disability+Organizations

 

Additional resources:

http://missourikidshealthcoalition.wetpaint.com/page/Asthma+and+Developmental+Disabilities+Resources

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NY OFFICE OF GENERAL SERVICES

 

June 2007 Environmentally Sensitive Cleaning & Maintenance Product

School Impact Report Pursuant to Chapter 584 of the Laws of 2005. www.ogs.state.ny.us/bldgadmin/environmental/2007GreenCleaningSurveyFinalReport072707.pdf

 

Environmental Services Unit:  Green Cleaning, E-Mail: nysogsesu@ogs.state.ny.us

www.ogs.state.ny.us/bldgadmin/environmental/default.html

 

NYS/OGS funded and participated in the revision of the (Green Seal, Inc.) GS-37 Standard for industrial and institutional cleaners, which was finalized by Green Seal on August 29, 2008.  These changes/updates, when adopted, should better protect the health of children, janitorial staff, employees & visitors within state agencies and school districts, as well as the environment.  NYS/OGS is also funding and participating in the development of a voluntary web based Green Cleaning Training Program to help school districts and state agencies better utilize their resources for cleaning purchases & practices. Some web resources:


 

About the OGS Environmental Services Unit

 

EO 134 2008 Biennial Cleaning Product Report  For OGS Building Managers (Revised 10/15/08)

 

Response to Questions Re: Hand Sanitizing Products and Hand Cleaners/Hand Soaps 

 

OGS Procurement Services Group (PSG)

Green Purchasing Web Page

 

 

 

Responses to Comments on Proposed Green Cleaning Guidelines   (Rec'd 05/19/06)

 

"Current" Green Cleaning Guidelines for Schools  

 

Approved Green Cleaning Product Lists

 

2007 School Legislation “Green Cleaning Survey” Final Report 

 

Cost Calculator for Use in Purchasing Green Cleaning Products (Based on: Dilution Rates) 


 

 

 

GREEN CLEAN SCHOOLS:  SUCCESS STORIES

www.healthyschoolscampaign.org/programs/gcs/success.php

 

 

Cost-Effectiveness of Green Products  In 2003-2004, a Healthy Schools Campaign-led pilot project introduced green cleaning in the Chicago Public Schools. The price of Green Seal products was found to be cost-competitive with traditional products.  In addition, the study found that not only were green cleaning products readily available, they also performed as well if not better than the conventional products.

 

Green Schools, by Christine Stapleton April 21, 2008, www.palmbeachpost.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/palmbeach/green/entries/2008/04/21/green_schools.html

 

Palm Beach County School District plans to phase in green cleaning products at all district schools.  A three-month green cleaning pilot program at Grassy Waters Elementary School and Jeaga Middle School proved that green cleaning saves money.  Seems once folks realize that going green saves money, they do it.  The district saved $512.86 at one of the schools during the 3-month pilot.  Imagine that kind of savings spread over the district’s approximately 180 schools.  The district also claims that green cleaning “results in lower teacher absenteeism.”  Now, I don’t have any data on this claim.  However, I do agree with the district’s claim that green cleaning will provide a healthier environment for students and staff, improved indoor air quality.

 

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GREEN CLEANING PRODUCT PROCUREMENT POLICIES,

INITIATIVES, AND REQUIREMENTS IN THE U.S.

 

www.standingupforillinois.org/uploads/08.doc

 

 

Prepared by Bill Balek, ISSA®, The Worldwide Association for the Cleaning Industry

Lincolnwood, IL 60712, Phone:  847-982-0800, www.issa.com March 22, 2006 (Revised Oct. 1, 2007)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Environmental preferability is the new mantra of the business community, as prudent companies across all industry sectors use environmental-based strategies to innovate, create value, and build competitive advantage.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in the cleaning industry where green cleaning has taken firm hold in the marketplace.  The demand and interest in environmentally preferable cleaning products and services has greatly accelerated in the past few years.  Moreover, the growth in green cleaning product procurement policies has been most pronounced in the public sector.  Inevitably, the public sector green procurement policies significantly impact and otherwise shape the purchasing policies of the private sector institutional markets on the local and national levels.  In order for ISSA members to remain competitive, it is imperative that they be well informed about the green trending in the marketplace.  ISSA, therefore, has prepared this document to provide association members with a comprehensive overview of the green cleaning product procurement policies, initiatives, and requirements of state, local and federal governments.  Please direct any questions or comments regarding this publication to the attention of Bill Balek, ISSA, bill@issa.com, 800-225-4772.

 

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