Asthma rates are increasing among children and custodial staffs are being tasked with reevaluating their chemical arsenal to make sure that these products no longer affect indoor air quality. To do so, staffs are incorporating green chemicals into their programs.

Within the realm of green are oxygen-based, biobased and peroxide-based products, which are gaining popularity in schools across the country. These green chemicals are touted as safe for use around children and ultra-sensitive building occupants.

By definition biobased products are biodegradable and made partially or wholly from plant sources including soy, corn, coconut, parsley, lavender or citrus. A variety of products are available to clean, disinfect or even degrease surfaces. Their low levels of volatile organic compounds are a plus for sensitive occupants, who often react negatively to a product's fumes.