Is Office Green Cleaning Really Better?
According to this report by the EPA, 6% of janitors experience job-related injuries from chemical exposure. The cleaning products your janitors are using expose your office workers to harmful chemicals, too. Instead of leaving harmful chemicals floating through the air, more companies are choosing to go for green cleaning instead.Is green cleaning at the office really worthwhile? We've done the research so you don't have to! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about green office cleaning.
Check the Label
First of all, it's important to know the government doesn't regulate product labels that use terms like "non-toxic" or "natural." In other words, there are no rules that govern which ingredients are "green."With this in mind, it's important to know that not all "green" products are non-toxic.It's important to check the ingredients before you decide which cleaning products to use in your office.Most fragranced green cleaning products have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in them. Traditional cleaning products have these same VOCs, which can cause health issues such as eye irritation or liver damage.Some "green" cleaners also include an ingredient called phthalates. These chemicals are linked to male reproductive issues and respiratory issues. A few phthalates include:
- Dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCP)
- Di-n-propyl phthalate (DPP)
- Diisononyl phthalate (DINP)
Meanwhile, some cleaner manufacturers follow their own set of rules when determining which products are "clean." For example, some companies have a list of ingredients they've banned from their products. These can include:
- Chlorine bleach
If an ingredient can cause the human body or the environment harm, it's probably not clean.
How to Find Real Green Cleaners
If you want to start using green cleaning methods in the office, you need to know which products to avoid.Here are a few ways you can determine a "green" cleaner is actually toxic:
- Check EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning, which cross-checks cleaning products for toxic ingredients
- Look for products that are certified by Green Seal, which indicates the cleaner meets health and environmental safety standards
- Look for the EPA's Safer Choice seal, which means the product uses less toxic ingredients
Searching for these two seals will tell you the product is effective and clean.Meanwhile, remain warry about words on the product label such as "flammable." If it's "harmful to swallow," the product probably isn't using safe ingredients.
Instead of using harmful products, some commercial cleaning companies offer to use their own homemade products. Here are a few examples.
Sodium carbonate is a multipurpose natural cleaner. A cleaning company can use it for everything from cleaning off soot to washing away grease. Also known as washing soda, sodium carbonate is available in grocery stores and online.
Baking soda is also an effective multisurface natural cleaner.Sprinkle it on a damp sponge and you can clean countertops, sinks, fiberglass, and more. Baking soda is also effective for absorbing odors in the air.
This natural cleaner is an effective whitener. If you're looking to replace bleach, you can find sodium percarbonate online or in stores.
Vinegar and Water
Together, these ingredients are great for a number of uses. They'll clean everything from stainless steel sinks to countertops while killing bacteria, too.
Reasons to Use Green Cleaning
Now that you have a few green cleaning products to choose from, let's talk about the benefits of green cleaning. Here are a few ways going green can benefit your office and employees.
Many cleaning products are covered in a number of fine print warnings. In addition to seeing the word "toxic" in bright red, you might notice "warning" and "flammable," too. Why risk exposing your employees to products that aren't safe?Mixing certain products can have a dangerous impact, too.Instead of leaving these products around the office, you can replace the danger with green office cleaning services instead. A professional green cleaning company can ensure your work environment is safe for everyone.
How often do your employees use their sick days? If your team is out of the office often, your office environment could deserve the blame.Green cleaning products can help your team feel better.Unlike traditional cleaning products, green cleaning products aren't harmful. Using natural solutions will reduce coughing, sneezing, headaches, and other sick symptoms.Previous studies have linked exposure to harmful cleaning supplies chemicals to occupational asthma and respiratory illness.Instead of leaving your team's health at risk, consider switching to green office cleaning solutions.
3. Air Quality
Using traditional cleaning products can send a number of volatile compounds into the air. VOCs can put everyone's health at risk. In fact, VOCs can cause damage to the body's:
- Central nervous system
By cleaning up the air quality in your office, you're also improving your employees' health.
4. The Environment
Green cleaning products won't just help your team. They can benefit the environment, too.If your company is committed to making changes to help the environment, go green with your cleaning. Green cleaning products are made using sustainable manufacturing practices. They also use natural, biodegradable ingredients that won't harm Mother Nature.Continuing to use traditional products, on the other hand, will harm the earth's eco-systems. Reconsider using conventional products that contain hazardous, toxic ingredients that aren't biodegradable.
5. Save Money
Choosing green office cleaning services can help you save money in a few different ways. For starters, you can choose to make your own green cleaning products. You can also use eco-friendly cleaners that are all-purpose and therefore capable of multiple jobs.More companies are choosing to go green.As a result, natural products are offering competitive prices to keep up with traditional products. In some cases, they're even cheaper than traditional products, so you can save money and your employees' health.
Go Green: Green Cleaning at the Office
Go green and keep your team healthy! By choosing green cleaning products for your office, you can protect your health and the planet.Otherwise, you could expose your employees to harmful chemicals. Why take the risk?Contact us today to make the switch to green office cleaning.
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