Health Hub: Green Cleaning

Close-up photo of cleaning worker focused on gloved hands and materials

The American Federation of Teachers has been concerned about the impact of indoor air pollution and the health effects of some traditional cleaning chemicals for many years. The AFT has been advocating for cleaning up the indoor air in workplaces by choosing green construction standards, nontoxic materials, and by employing green practices.

Green cleaning is defined by ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, as “cleaning to protect health without harming the environment.” As simple as this may sound, cleaning green requires an affirmative decision on the part of the employer to “buy green.” Green cleaning products are tested and certified to be free of harmful chemicals by several independent organizations. Information on these certifications and green products are available at EcoLogo, Green Seal and a variety of other organizations.