Green Clean Schools Act Becomes Law in Illinois
According to a recent press release, Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed the Green Clean Schools Act on Aug. 13, making Illinois the second state in the nation, along with New York, to require green cleaning in schools. Healthy Schools Campaign was instrumental in championing the bill and building a coalition to support it.
The law, which defines green cleaning as cleaning to protect health without harming the environment, requires schools to purchase environmentally sensitive cleaning products. It does not require schools to throw away existing supplies, and allows time for schools to order less toxic supplies in the next normal procurement cycle.
The law’s passage represents a victory not only for Illinois children, teachers, school nurses and community leaders, but also for children’s health advocates around the U.S. who are working to make green cleaning the norm in schools.
"People from all different aspects of the school world – from nursing to the cleaning industry – are realizing how important green cleaning is and are really speaking up to advocate for it," said Mark Bishop, deputy director of the Healthy Schools Campaign, an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to healthy school environments. "This simple step protects the health of everyone in the school building."
The law’s passage was made possible by the strong support of a dedicated and diverse coalition of allies, including the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; American Academy of Pediatrics IL Chapter; American Lung Association of Chicago and Illinois; Cannon Distributing; Chicago Teachers Union; Citizen Action of Illinois; Cloud 9 & Company; Environment Illinois; Environmental Law and Policy Center; Envirox, LLC; Healthy Schools Campaign; Illinois Association of School Nurses; Illinois Education Association; Illinois Environmental Council; Illinois Public Health Association; ISSA, the Experts on Cleaning and Maintenance: Kranz, Inc.; LaGrange Highland School District 106; Lt. Governor’s Office; Phoenix Supply Company; Multi-Products Distribution, Inc.; Performance Chemical and Supply; Pike Systems; Pollution Prevention Resource Center; PortionPac Chemical Corporation; SEIU; Seven Generations Ahead; Sierra Club; Southern Illinois Public Cooperative; United Supply Service, Inc.; U.S. Green Building Council; and Voices for Illinois Children.
The Green Clean Schools Act was introduced in the House by Rep. Karen May and in the Senate by Sen. Iris Martinez.
"To say that green cleaning is catching on is really an understatement," said Bishop. "This is the start of an important change in the way we view cleaning at schools, and it’s exciting to have worked with the team that made it happen."
The Healthy Schools Campaign, an independent not-for-profit organization, is the leading authority on healthy school environments and a voice for people who care about our environment, our children and education. Our mission is to advocate for policies and model programs that allow students and staff members to learn and work in a healthy school environment.
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