Hand holding sprout for growing nature

The California Assembly has passed a bill that would require schools to purchase "environmentally preferable" cleaning products, according to an article on the Chemical Watch Global Risk & Regulation News website.

The Clean and Healthy Schools Act (AB 2570) would require school districts and certain nonpublic schools to purchase only products meeting independent, third-party certification criteria for reduced effects on human health and the environment.

The legislation, sponsored by the Environmental Working Group, expressly excluded products that must bear a Proposition 65 warning label from the definition.

Product categories that are affected include industrial cleaners for furniture, counters, restrooms, glass, carpets and floors. The legislation would allow schools to seek an exemption if they can demonstrate economic need.

The requirements would take effect in autumn 2021.

According to the legislature’s bill analysis, the Green Seal, EcoLogo and Safer Choice programs all meet the certification criteria.

But bill opponents have said that these programs may certify products containing Prop 65-listed chemicals, leading to a potential conflict.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC), California Chamber of Commerce, Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) have all registered their opposition.

The bill will now be taken up in the California Senate.

Since 2005, 10 states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New York, and Vermont) and the District of Columbia have implemented laws that deal with green cleaning in schools. So far, there has been little analysis regarding how well they are working.