Safer Cleaner & Disinfectant Choices

It is proven that the indoor environment (or indoor air quality, IAQ) of our school buildings influence health and performance of staff and students. A large part of maintaining a healthy indoor environment is limiting potentially harmful airborne chemical exposures through careful choice of low hazard cleaning/disinfecting chemicals. Vapors and fumes from cleaning and disinfecting products can linger long after they have been applied, affecting not only the employees working with them directly, but also students and staff. Inhalation of potentially harmful chemicals may allergic reactions, produce a wide variety of symptoms or may exacerbate asthma.

Due to the COVID pandemic, the frequency of cleaning and disinfection has significantly increased, so we must pay even more attention by carefully selecting cleaners and disinfectants then following the proper application techniques so as not to overload the air with hazardous chemicals that do more damage than good. More is not always better! Custodial personnel should be trained and procedures followed.

In general, a good cleaner/disinfectant:

  • performs well – according to specifications
  • presents low hazard for humans and the environment
  • is reasonably priced
  • preferably is unscented

When making purchasing decisions, school districts should consult EPA lists of recommended products:

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