Illinois House Passes Green Clean Schools Act
The Illinois House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Green Clean Schools Act on March 21st with a vote of 88 to 26. The bill has a diverse array of supporters, ranging from cleaning professionals and environmental leaders to school nurses and educators.

“Green cleaning is a smart, easy, cost-effective step to improving health in schools,” said Mark Bishop, deputy director of the Healthy Schools Campaign. “Representatives supported this bill with their common sense and with the knowledge that it’s the right thing to do.”

The bill would require all elementary and secondary schools in the state to purchase and use environmentally sensitive cleaning products. These products reduce children’s exposure to irritants and toxic chemicals, while protecting the health of the custodial staff who works closely with the supplies.

The products are cost-comparable and equally effective as conventional cleaning products. The act allows exemption to schools that demonstrate the mandated green cleaning program would cost more than traditional cleaning.

The Healthy Schools Campaign is working with Senate leaders to introduce the bill in the Senate, where it must be passed to become law.

Becoming a Better Manager

Regardless of your professional position, it is important to stay on top of your game. Ongoing training and finding ways to better yourself and your company/department will ultimately make you a better manager. Here are 10 ways managers can better themselves.

1. Select the best people. — You are only as good as the people on your team.
2. Be a motivator. — Determine what workers want and achieve those goals.
3. Build your team. — Two people are always better than one.
4. Be a leader, not just a manager. — Provide direction for workers.
5. Improve as a communicator.
6. Get better at managing money.
7. Get better at managing time.
8. Improve yourself.
9. Practice ethical management.
10. Take a break. — You are less effective when you are over-stressed. Remove yourself from the situation.

According to About Management, “management is a skill that can be learned. You can improve as a manager by working every day to get better.”

Study: Possible Link Between Chemicals and Male Obesity
According to a national survey, exposure to a class of chemicals commonly found in various soaps and plastics could be fueling the obesity epidemic and insulin resistance in men. The study was based on urine, blood samples and other data collected for the National Health and Nutritional Examination survey — a large government survey — between 1999 and 2002.

The chemicals, known as phthalates, have already been implicated as a cause of male reproductive problems, including low testosterone and low sperm counts. Researchers caution that it is still too soon to know whether phthalates are causing obesity and diabetes.

While there is no conclusive evidence that phthalates are directly causing obesity and diabetes, researchers believe they could definitely be part of the problem.

Authors of the study suggest that additional testing be done, but initial results indicate that chemical exposure may be the cause of obesity in men.