What we don’t know about cleaning products could be harming our children. Tests were performed on the quality of air inside schools, homes, and businesses, and the results were shocking: air quality indoors was up to 100 times worse than it was outside these buildings. Poor ventilation coupled with overly strong chemicals that are used too often can have a deleterious effect on indoor spaces.
There are over 15,000 chemicals sold worldwide for use in home cleaning, but testing of these chemicals lags: only one-third have been thoroughly tested for possible negative long-term effects on people and pets.
Even though most public spaces like schools and businesses are cleaned at night, when children are at home and customers are not present, chemical odor and toxic particles can stay in the air.
But what is the alternative? Some school cleaning services are going green. Medical office cleaning services use very strong chemicals due to the possible presence of disease, but do use low-impact, eco-friendly chemicals whenever possible. Many restaurant cleaning services have also switched to green cleaning processes due to the proximity of food.
While cleaning services try to keep larger areas clean, employees and teachers can help clean smaller spaces, like desks and computer keyboards. Doorknobs are also important areas that are consistently linked to the spread of the flu and other illnesses; keeping them clean can make a huge difference in student and employee absences.
10% of employees have never actually cleaned their keyboard or mouse, and students have a tendency to not wash hands after eating, coughing, or play. Cleaning services tend to focus on larger areas that are used more often and may not routinely spray computers, desks, or water fountains.
The solution is simple: use green cleaning processes designed to minimize indoor air toxicity, and get employees or students involved in cleaning smaller areas that are easily contaminated. School cleaning services and commercial cleaning services should rotate deep cleaning of high-traffic areas to ensure full coverage.