Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Selects Green Cleaning Chemicals
April 11, 2011
SANTA MONICA, CA -- Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is pleased to announce that as part of the ongoing efforts to make our schools safer for our students and teachers, the custodial staff has begun to use green cleaning chemicals and procedures to clean in the classrooms and district facilities.
These new environmentally preferable cleaning products and processes will begin to be phased into use as inventory of current products are depleted, and are anticipated to be fully implemented district-wide by the end of the school year.
Before selecting these new cleaning products, the district specified that they must be certified to have a reduced impact on human health and environment by third-party organizations like EcoLogo and Green Seal. The products that were ultimately selected incorporate the latest in innovative green chemistry, and they have been tested for cleaning efficacy and approved by the district custodial team.
This new cleaning product selection is the culmination of a process that began when the City of Santa Monica suggested the District apply for a State of California Department of Health grant for testing of green cleaning supplies.
In addition to the ongoing endorsement from the City of Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment, this grant was also supported by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a national environmental research and advocacy organization, and two other non-profits, the Green Schools Initiative and the Green Purchasing Institute.
With this grant, the District will receive training for custodial, facilities and purchasing staff on the hazards of conventional cleaners, and how to select and purchase safer, more environmentally preferable cleaners.
A major goal of this initiative has been to improve overall indoor air quality in District facilities by taking steps to minimize exposure of students, staff and building occupants to environmental triggers that can exacerbate asthma.
Studies have shown that using green cleaning products emit far fewer volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) which are known to potentially trigger asthmatic reactions – and since 20% of the District’s enrollment currently has asthma related conditions, it is the goal of the District to try to control as many variables that can trigger a reaction as possible.
In addition to the third-party certifications referenced above, two of the three new cleaning products have also been certified to be “Clean Air Choices Certified – Cleaners” by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which recognizes products with ultra low VOC content.
The District will be working with the awarded vendor, WAXIE Sanitary Supply, to implement the new green cleaning products.
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is a Pre-K-12 and adult education district which serves the communities of Santa Monica and Malibu. Additional information about SMMUSD may be obtained at www.smmusd.org.