CIRI Issues Policy on Green Cleaning
The Board of Directors of the Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI) issued a formal policy on green cleaning.

“We commend the advocates of green cleaning for what they have done for our industry,” says Jim Harris, CIRI chairman of the board. “However, we are concerned that there are times when decisions are made to go ‘green’ that can have an impact on the actual cleaning process, resulting in a less healthy environment. The goal of CIRI is to place cleaning practices on a solid scientific basis, and then work with organizations like Green Seal or Design for the Environment to ensure that the green practices they recommend continue to provide effective cleaning and sanitization.”

The CIRI policy states: “The Board of Directors of the Cleaning Industry Research Institute recognizes the momentum and importance increasingly being given to eco-sensitive or environmentally friendly aspects of cleaning and restoration, commonly referred to as green cleaning. We are closely following this trend and in consort with our newly established Science Advisory Council, will be studying the science and technology that underpins green cleaning.

“There are, however, additional issues of equal importance upon which CIRI will ultimately base its decisions. First, it is imperative that the focus be on “cleaning” green, that is cleaning first, cleaning for health and hygiene, as well as cleaning in a more environmentally friendly manner. The mission of CIRI is to identify sound, scientifically valid knowledge that promotes cleaning. We recognize that some approaches to green cleaning may result in compromises to actual cleaning performance and efficacy as a consequence of environmental considerations.

“It is the policy of CIRI to assure that all aspects of cleaning and environmental science become an integral and cost effective drive in deciding what is acceptable for eco-friendly cleaning and restoration.”

More information can be found at

Study Shows Jan/San Workers Underestimate Impact of Avian Flu
A survey of industry manufacturers, distributors, and facility service providers revealed that although cleaning professionals are aware of the possibility of an avian flu pandemic, many underestimate its possible impact on the industry. The study, done by Enviro-Solutions, revealed that 46 percent of respondents indicate they have a “clear” understanding of the avian flu issue, while 36 percent say they are “somewhat” aware of the flu or know little about it. The study also revealed:

• Approximately 58 percent reported that their customers consider an outbreak “a serious threat”
• 82 percent comment that if there is an outbreak, it will pose a serious danger to the U.S. and Canada
• More than 70 percent believe there are ways to prevent an outbreak, or at least minimize the impact of a pandemic, should it occur
• Nearly 90 percent commented, “the jan/san industry will play a role in minimizing the consequences” of an outbreak
• 54 percent feel that an avian flu pandemic will not have a negative effect on the jan/san industry

Avian flu strains infected people in Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand in 2005. An estimated 60 people have died, and new strains are being detected in animals for the first time in Romania, Greece, Turkey, Russia, and England, according to the Avian Flu Information Web site.

It has been reported that Indonesia has surpassed Vietnam as the country hardest hit by the avian flu, killing at least 42 people since it was detected a year ago. To help stop the spread of the avian flu, Indonesian officials have killed more than one million birds between January and March 2006.

Federal Legislation May Require Paid Sick Leave for Workers
According to the U.S. Labor Department, roughly four out of 10 private workers lack paid sick leave, a statistic that may soon change. Congress is currently reviewing a piece of legislation that would require employers with at least 15 full-time workers to provide seven days of paid sick leave.

Currently, federal health officials advise workers to stay home when they are ill, but there is no federal law that would require employers to provide paid leave.

Supporters of the legislation claim that providing paid leave would save businesses an estimated $8 billion annually because it would keep workers from leaving to find jobs with better sick leave benefits.

Many business groups oppose the legislation, and feel that it will lead to other government mandates.

More information can be found at

Online Green Cleaning University
The Ashkin Group has launched Green Cleaning University (GCU) – an online professional development resource on green cleaning and healthy building maintenance.

GCU is modeled after a traditional Ivy League campus, but with online programming designed for today’s busy cleaning professionals. The faculty is composed of the nation’s leading experts in green cleaning and healthy building maintenance. Students will have access to a wide variety of data and learning tools accessible via interactive classes, online discussion groups, special conferences, and an exhaustive library and bookstore.

For more information, visit

ISSA show seminars target In-House Cleaners

Chicago plays host to the annual ISSA/INTERCLEAN® USA conference, which will take place October 4-7. While at the conference, cleaning industry experts and consultants will discuss solutions to some of housekeeping manager’s biggest challenges. Seminars, sponsored by Housekeeping Solutions, Contracting Profits and Sanitary Maintenance magazines, as well as include:

• Get Motivated and Improve Communication to Impact Performance and Profits
• Reducing Slips, Trips and Falls
• From Paying Your Dues to Changing the Rules:
Succession Planning and the New Generations
• The Total Cost of Facility Ownership & Stewardship
• Find & Keep the Right Employees Without Stealing from the Competition!
• The Financial Impact of Green Cleaning
• Staffing & Workloading For the Bottom Line
• Communication Bleeps and Blunders in Business
• Maintaining Quality While Reducing Costs

For more information, visit