Most schools have their own janitorial services, but sometimes it can be harmful if they don’t do their research. While it is indeed costly to hire a professional cleaning service everyday, it pays to have the school thoroughly cleaned before every school year starts. But for daily cleaning, it should be remembered that there are some products that are not safe around kids.
In a school, especially in a kindergarten setting, it’s imperative that you keep in mind the chemicals and materials you use for the surfaces and items mostly used by kids. It’s better if you go green and use chemicals and solutions that are 100% organic and environmentally friendly. But don’t be fooled! There are actually chemicals hiding in the guise of an eco-friendly label – and this is called “Greenwashing”.
What is “Greenwashing”?
There’s an ongoing trend of going green and natural amongst big companies nowadays, and it became the talk of the town. People support environmentally friendly products and they always feel rewarded after ditching the plastic and harsh chemicals in their daily lives. However, there’s such a thing called “Greenwashing” – and it’s a terrible strategy of labelling the products green but they’re actually not!
How do you know if the products you use are actually green?
- Look for the Green Seal. A Green Seal is a non-profit organisation dedicated to establishing and certificating environmental standard items. Green Seal standards require performance, health, and sustainability – usually covering products, services, hotels, and restaurants. If the product has been approved by the Green Seal, it was tested and proven to be safe.
- Establishing a District-wide Policy. There should be an approval of each product and a study if it is indeed green to make sure there are no harmful chemicals in the mix. It should be picked and enforced that only the products approved will be used for the school and other new ones will have to be studied. It will make sure that the other branches are following the lead of the original establishment and keeping kids healthy and happy.
- Check the label. You have to individually check the labels of the products used and review the contents. There should be a test whether or not the cleaning agent irritates the skin or causes discomfort in any way. If there’s any form of irritation, it shouldn’t be used for kids.
Sticking to odourless cleaning agents
Odourless products means lesser chance of using harmful chemicals and safer for the kids. Stick to odourless cleaning materials and maybe go for food-based mixes like lemon and diluted vinegar. There are fragrances that might cause dizziness, asthma, sinusitis, and more when inhaled by kids – it’s a bad choice even if you want to make the room smell better. Go for DIY mixtures and add essential oils in the mix to make it smell better.
Avoid using the following:
- Ammonia – It’s usually found in glass cleaners and can irritate the skin, lungs, eyes, and throat.
- Chlorine Bleach – Fumes of this product can make you nauseous, cough, and have difficulty breathing.
- Nano-silver – Common in most cleaning agents and is toxic to the brain and liver.
- Ammonium Quaternary Compounds – Common in disinfectant sprays and toilet cleaners. A common trigger for asthma.
- Triclosan and Triclocarbon – Commonly found in soaps and were discovered to cause hormonal imbalance and risk cancer.