Green Cleaning Products – Truth or Fiction?

June 30, 2008 at 10:23 pm Leave a comment

What with all of the attention being paid to all things “green” these days, one of the items I see most frequently mentioned are cleaning supplies.  I am not sure if this is because these chemicals have gotten such bad press in the past that they are trying real hard to seem safe and relevant.

Now if you put the words “green cleaning products” into your search engine of choice you will get back a great many sources for these items ranging from Simple Green (http://www.simplegreen.com/), which I recommend by the way, to articles on how to make your own cleaning supplies.

The main reason to even think about this for commercial buildings has to do with indoor air quality and minimizing the residents of a buildings exposure to toxic chemicals and fumes.  Previously the focus was on changing your chemicals out to supposedly safer alternatives.There is however some discussion about the value of making this change as is covered in this Live Science article: (http://www.livescience.com/environment/070806_green_cleaners.html).

The LEED certification guidelines coming out this month steers away from just substituting chemicals to get your credits but is emphasizing a complete approach to green cleaning.  On ENN.com (http://www.enn.com/business/article/37513) there is an article that covers this change. There is also another article on Cleanlink.com that go even more in depth on this issue: (http://www.cleanlink.com/hs/article.asp?id=5609&keywords=green,%20leed).

The current thinking is that you should develop a complete janitorial program with environmentally sensitive cleaning agents, best practices to insure a clean building and energy efficient equipment. The main difference I have found is that with the “green” alternatives in chemicals you have to take a little more time and use a little more elbow grease.  Although “Seventh Generation” (http://www.seventhgeneration.com/) is working to make their products the equivalent in effectiveness .

Lastly as a general rule chemicals that are rated by Green Seal (http://www.greenseal.org/) qualify under the LEED and most other rating services guidelines and generally are of good quality and good value.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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Entry filed under: Compliance, Maintenance, Technology. Tags: , , .

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