Green Seal officials announced in June that the organization is initiating development of an environmental standard for cleaning service providers, now that it has received the necessary funding.

Green Seal now is issuing a general call for stakeholders interested in participating in the standard, starting with the scoping phase, says Arthur Weissman, Ph.D., President and CEO of Green Seal.
“Green Seal develops all of its environmental standards in an open and transparent process,” he says. “There will be opportunity for all stakeholders or interested parties to comment when the standard is proposed for public review.”

Sponsors, who each contributed $10,000, include the following: Spartan Chemical Co., Maumee, Ohio; National Chemical Laboratories Inc., Philadelphia; JohnsonDiversey, Sturtevant, Wis.; ProTeam, Boise, Idaho; Coastwide Laboratories, Wilsonville, Ore.; and PortionPac Chemical Corp., Chicago.

Housekeeping professionals who would like to comment should e-mail Green Seal.

IICRC Announces New Courses

At its spring 2005 meeting, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) elevated its Hard Surface Floor Cleaning and Maintenance Task Force to a division of the Certification Council.

The new division — the Cleaning/Maintenance division — will include all hard-surface floor disciplines with the addition of the Commercial Carpet Cleaning and Maintenance course (CCMT).

Based upon recommendations made at the meeting, the IICRC is moving forward with development of additional courses. The next two courses to be offered are the Resilient Floor Maintenance Technician (RFMT) and the Wood Floor Maintenance Technician (WFMT).

The IICRC also has plans to complete course development of the remaining hard surface floor cleaning and maintenance categories.

Ultimately, the IICRC’s new maintenance and cleaning division will consist of eight courses. For more information, go to, or e-mail Joe Dobbins.

ISSA Show Seminars Aim to Help Housekeepers

Cleaning industry experts and consultants will discuss solutions to some of housekeeping managers’ biggest challenges Oct. 19-20 at the ISSA/INTERCLEAN trade show and conference in Las Vegas. This year’s sessions, sponsored by Housekeeping Solutions and Contracting Profits magazines:

  • Motivational Leadership: Inspiring Performance from Our Team Members
  • Benchmarking for Everyone: How Do My Numbers Stack Up?
  • Effective Communications for Success
  • Clean is Not Enough! Proven Strategies for Revolutionizing Environmental Services
  • Clashing Generations: Bringing Generations Together
  • The Power of Partnering: How to Create Winning Supplier Relationships
  • Attitude: The Winning Edge
  • Saving Money in Your Custodial Operation
  • Greening Your Operation

Click for schedule and registration information.

NY Schools Required to Go Toxic-Free

Custodians in New York schools will have to use nontoxic cleaning supplies under a bill that gained final approval in June.

The Assembly passed the measure, which applies to public and private schools in New York state. The bill follows Governor Pataki’s recent Executive Order to reduce toxic fumes produced by cleaning supplies in state agencies.

Study Finds Chemical May Pose Cancer Risk

A study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology reports that a common chemical found in cleaning materials, textiles and plastics triggers breast cancer in mice.

That chemical, 4-nonylphenol (4-NP), which mimics the female hormone, estrogen, is considered a hormone-disrupting substance once it is in the body. Such chemicals have long been suspected as posing a health risk, the journal reported.

The study was conducted at the University of Texas at El Paso and Clemson University in South Carolina. The study used mice to compare the effects of 4-NP and estrogen. Many of the mice exposed to 4-NP developed breast cancer over a 32-week test period while those given estrogen did not.

The researchers suggested that the findings might mean there is a risk of developing breast cancer associated with long-term exposure to 4-NP. However, they stress that much more research is needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn.

IEHA to Recognize ‘Unsung Heroes’

In conjunction with International Housekeepers Week (Sept. 11-17, 2005), the International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA) has instituted a new award for front-line workers in the housekeeping and custodial industry who show exemplary initiative in going “above and beyond” his or her call of duty.

The “Unsung Hero” award will assist in bringing more positive attention to cleaning departments in commercial and institutional facilities across the globe.

An “Unsung Hero” might have pointed out suspicious individuals who seem out of place. He or she could have saved the organization thousands of dollars in restoration costs when a flood hit. He or she may have smelled smoke and took action to stop a fire.

To nominate a cleaner for the award, identify the individual and submit a paragraph to IEHA explaining why the nominee is deserving of the award. The Unsung Facility Hero of the Year will be named during International Housekeepers Week. The recipient will have his or her story printed in Executive Housekeeping Today and will receive a complimentary one-year membership to IEHA and a $100 cash prize. For more information, contact Beth Risinger at (800) 200-6342, ext. 104.