United States
            Environmental Protection
            Agency
       SC3: PROTECTING STUDENTS AND STAFF WITH GREEN CLEANING
EPA's Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3) is working to encourage schools to use
green cleaning practices to safely clean their classrooms and grounds. From elementary school
maintenance closets to high school chemistry labs, schools use a variety of chemicals. Some of
the most essential chemicals are those that keep schools clean and safe for students to learn
and grow. However, the chemicals used in cleaning products can sometimes be harmful to
human health and to the environment.
  GREEN CLEANING - WHAT IS IT?

    Using green cleaning products and
    practices can be less harmful to
    human health and the environment
    than some cleaning products and
    practices used by many schools
    today. The following are some easy
    tips that schools can take to start
    greening their cleaning products
    and practices:
              BENEFITS

The chemicals found in some cleaning
products can cause health problems,
including eye, nose, and throat irritation, as
well as headaches. If these products contain
VOCs, adverse health effects can include,
asthma, upper respiratory irritation, fatigue,
nasal congestion, nausea, and dizziness.
Using green cleaning products and practices
may avoid these health effects and also:
             PRODUCTS

   Use chemicals that have:

     Neutral pH levels and have no known
       carcinogens;
   U  Low or no Volatile Organic Compounds
       (VOCs);
     Energy and water savings benefits;
     Biodegradability;
     Less packaging;
     Other positive health and environmental
       attributes.

           PRACTICES

     Read and follow product labels;
     Use only the amount needed;
     Clean when the building is unoccupied;
     Use proper equipment to do the job;
     Manage and dispose of cleaning products
       safely and in an environmentally friendly
       way;
     Train employees to use product Materials
       Safely  Data Sheets (MSDSs)  and labels
       for use, storage and disposal.
     Protects students, who may be more
       vulnerable to chemicals than adults,
     Protects the health of custodial staff
       who have frequent interaction with
       cleaning chemicals;
   y  Prevent student and faculty
       absences;
   Id  Increase the lifespan of facilities;
     Increase cost savings by using fewer
       products; and
     Improve the school environment.
A growing body of scientific knowledge
demonstrates that children may suffer
disproportionately from environmental health
risks and safety risks.
                                                                        EPA530-F-08-015

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       SC3: PROTECTING STUDENTS AND STAFF WITH GREEN CLEANING
                              WHAT CAN  I DO?

                     BUILD A GREEN CLEANING PROGRAM

You can make a difference to student health and the environment by developing a green
cleaning program.  Below are some tips to get a green cleaning program started. Remember, no
two programs are alike. Use the tips that make sense for your individual school or school
district.
Involve the right people. Administrators, teachers, and custodians all have a role in designing
and implementing your green cleaning program. Whenever possible, schools should bring in
organizations with an interest in safe chemical management and healthy schools, such as
chemical and product suppliers, industry leaders, and other community partners.

Select products with positive environmental attributes. Encourage suppliers to stock
products with positive environmental attributes. Evaluate contracts with suppliers and cleaning
services for consistency with your cleaning goals.

Take a look at your current cleaning practices. Green cleaning is about more than the
products you use. Be sure that employees are properly trained to identify outdated or unneeded
chemicals that need disposal and know what to do if there  is a spill, know how to use products
according to label directions, and have the proper equipment. Consider policies that allow for
scheduling cleaning at the appropriate time and frequency.

Properly manage and dispose of inappropriate, outdated, unknown and unneeded chemicals.
Regularly monitor your cleaning product supply and usage through good purchasing control and
inventory practices.

Regularly evaluate your green cleaning practices. Stay on top of the most current policies
and practices and ensure that they are implemented. This will help you protect students, staff
and the environment.
                                                    FOR MORE INFORMATION
                                                 Visit the Schools Chemical Cleanout
                                                     Campaign (SC3) website:

                                                     www.epa.gov/sc3
                                                                       EPA530-F-08-015

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