Carefree Maintenance Inc has gone Green! CMI
has partnered with Daycon Products Company and has launched its green
What is Green Cleaning?
Green cleaning is a complete approach to creating
healthier, more productive facilities for building occupants and janitor’s without harming
the environment. Green cleaning is increasingly becoming either
the requirement of mandated green programs or identified as the “best
practice” in voluntary green programs.
Green cleaning is a widely accepted movement that
uses procedures and products to
make cleaning for the health of building occupants, janitors, and the
environment a primary concern.
Cleaning chemicals and health problems
It has been found that some widely used cleaning products have serious
adverse effects on the health of building occupants and janitors. The
average person spends about 90% of their day indoors, where air pollution
from diverse sources such as cleaners, upholstery, and carpeting can
be up to 100 times greater than outdoor air. Short term health problems
caused by exposure to hazardous cleaning products range from eye irritation
and coughing to chest pain, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea. Long-term
effects may include liver and kidney failure, birth defects, emphysema,
brain damage, and even cancer. 11.6% of work-related asthma comes from
cleaning products. In addition, people who suffer from multiple chemical
sensitivity syndrome, a disease that is not fully understood or recognized
by the medical community, feel that low level exposure to chemicals,
such as cleaning products, cause them to feel sick.
Cleaning chemicals and the environment
Cleaning products can also harm the natural environment. There are over
70,000 chemicals being used today, and fewer than 2% have been thoroughly
tested for their effects on human and aquatic life. Cleaning products
are responsible for approximately 8% of non-vehicular emissions of Volatile
Organic Compounds, which can trigger respiratory problems such as asthma,
contribute to smog formation, and inhibit plant growth. Chemicals in
cleaning products contribute to the toxic waste stream when they are
disposed of. Chemicals such as alkyphenol ethoxylates are endocrine disruptors
that are slow to biodegrade and have shown up in the endocrine systems
of fish, birds, and mammals. Other chemicals cause algal blooms in water
bodies, which in turn kills aquatic life.
Green cleaning is not just about chemical substitution, paper products
also play an important role because their production process can harm
the environment and human health. Paper products supplied by cleaning
companies have negative impacts on the environment and human health.
Paper products that are bleached in the traditional method with chlorine
create dioxin, a toxic chemical that does not break down and accumulates
in the environment, harming both humans and wildlife. Chlorine bleaching
also uses large amounts of water that then becomes polluted wastewater,
further burdening the environment. Paper products further burden the
environment through their use of virgin trees that are then used one
time and disposed of. By switching to unbleached or non-chlorine bleached,
recycled content products that have minimal packaging or using energy
efficient hand dryers, the effects on the environment can be minimized.
Green Cleaning aims to eliminate or reduce these potentially harmful
toxins and carcinogens and aims to minimize resource consumption through
product substitutions and procedural changes. Green Cleaning emphasizes
the environmental sustainability of cleaning operations and overall building
health and does not solely evaluate building cleanliness based on appearance.
Sources: Green Seal, Center for a New American Dream, WWF Canada, Seventh
Generation, E Magazine