Of course, when it comes to occupant health in buildings, the classic frontline strategy of limiting or eliminating toxic exposure through careful materials selection is always a best practice.

“The great thing about reducing chemical hazards [in building and cleaning products] is the science is very solid, and it’s one of the most effective and rigorous ways to improve human health,” says Bill Walsh, executive director of the Healthy Building Network.

The market is moving toward even more transparency and disclosure regarding the chemical makeup of materials and products, granting the necessary insight for facility cleaning managers to be able to select among products.

“More than 100 product manufacturers are involved in the Health Product Declaration Collaborative, which is the standard format for communicating information about building ingredients and related health issues,” Walsh says. “That is another indication on how the market is focusing on human health, and manufacturers are responding to that.”

An elegant impact of hazard reduction by avoiding certain chemicals in products is that the effects ripple back up through the entire supply chain, Walsh says. Not only do building occupants get a healthier environment, but also facility staff gets a healthier workplace. 

This article is adapted from “Using Buildings to Support Human Health” by Naomi Millán, which originally appeared in Building Operation Management, a sister publication to Facility Cleaning Decisions.

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Cleaning Standards That Focus On Wellness