Green Cleaning for Workers’ Health

November 09, 2009

By Mark Bishop, Deputy Director

We give four primary reasons for green cleaning in schools. (And we could probably come up with 20 more. . .) Here they are:
  1. Green Cleaning Helps Students Stay Healthy and Learn
  2. Green Cleaning Protects the Health of Custodial Staff
  3. Green Cleaning Increases the Lifespan of Facilities
  4. Green Cleaning Preserves the Environment
We
tend to focus on the students, but we shouldn't lose perspective on
the broader set of issues around providing a healthy environment for
everyone in a building, including the employees. Green cleaning is an
important aspect of a healthy work environment. According to this recent article:

When
supermarket janitors in Local 1877 of the Service Employees
International Union (SEIU) rallied last month at Safeway and Lucky
stores in San Jose, Calif., they weren't only demanding improved wages
and health benefits. They were calling for the adoption of green
cleaning standards to make their jobs safer.

Take a read of the full story. It's interesting, and it provides real insight into how janitors work and how the chemicals they use affect their health. 

When we work to support green cleaning or other healthy indoor air
quality programs, we are speaking up for the health of teachers,
custodians, administrators and everyone who works in a school building
— in addition to the schoolchildren who often come to mind first. 
Remember, more than 50 million students and 5 millions adults are in
school buildings on any given work day. A healthy environment protects
us all.