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Green Clean Schools Act Sails Through Illinois Senate

May 16, 2007

Source: Healthy Schools Campaign

Green Clean Schools Act Sails Through Illinois Senate
Illinois Becomes Second State to Require Green Cleaning, Reducing Chemical Exposure for Children

Children, teachers, and school staff in Illinois will soon breathe a little easier during the school day.

With a 52-5 vote in the Senate today, Illinois became only the second state to enact legislation requiring green cleaning in schools.

"Illinois is becoming a national leader in providing healthy learning environments for our children,” said Mark Bishop, deputy director of the Healthy Schools Campaign, an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to healthy school environments. "This simple step goes miles in protecting the health of everyone in the school building. It's an important milestone for Illinois, and it's simply the right thing to do."

The act will require all elementary and secondary schools in Illinois to purchase environmentally sensitive cleaning supplies, which are now cost-comparable and equally effective to conventional cleaning products.

Green cleaning products reduce children’s exposure to irritants and toxic chemicals while protecting the health of custodial staff who work closely with the supplies.

"I’ve seen the negative health effects of traditional cleaning chemicals first-hand, and I can tell you there's a better way," said Bill Thompson, director of facilities at Lockport Township High School. Thompson began implementing a green cleaning program three years ago and now sees benefits in student attendance as well as cost savings for his school. "Green cleaning is the right thing to do, not only for children but for the custodial staff who work with the chemicals."

The bill authorizes the Green Government Coordinating Council to determine specific standards for green products within six months.

Visit the Healthy Schools Campaign website for additional details.

Visit the online edition of RPN's Responsible Purchasing Guide for Cleaners or purchase a hard copy or PDF.

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