At a press conference held Chicago’s Jones College Prep, a school that uses only Green cleaning products, Illinois Lt. Governor Pat Quinn and State Rep. Karen May announced that they will introduce the Green Cleaning Schools Act for the state’s legislature to consider.

The legislation—HB 895—requires all elementary and secondary schools in Illinois to purchase environmentally sensitive cleaning supplies that do not expose students to harmful chemicals and ingredients.

“Many of the chemicals found in everyday cleaning supplies are released as toxins into the air,” said Quinn at the press conference. [For the health of our children] it’s time to swap conventional cleaning supplies with supplies that have less impact on our children’s health and the environment.”

Saying why the legislation is needed, both Quinn and May said that children miss more than 14 million school days each year because of asthma in the U.S, “often exacerbated by poor indoor air quality caused by cleaning products,” said May.

Additionally, they said that one state school district has already switched to Green cleaning products. “They reported a 3 percent increase in daily attendance shortly after the transfer was made,” May added.

Cleaning Industry Represented
At the press conference, ISSA was mentioned as one of the supporters of the legislation.

Additionally, representatives from Kaivac, Inc. and Tenant were on hand to demonstrate their products and discuss their company’s commitment to healthier cleaning.

“It is very important that the cleaning industry get behind initiatives like this,” says Mike Perazzo, sales director for Kaivac. “And it’s easier now because of new cleaning products and technologies that automatically control the dispensing of cleaning chemicals and do a more thorough job of removing indoor pollutants with less impact on the environment.”

Also representing the cleaning industry was Vince Fagen of United Supply, Chicago. “We are working with Jones College as well as schools and colleges throughout the state converting them to Green cleaning products,” he says. “For the most part, they find the products affordable and effective.”

If passed, the Green Cleaning Schools Act will follow New York, Vermont, and several other states requiring that only environmentally preferable products be used in schools. “Eventually, I think we will see most of the states consider and likely pass similar legislation,” says Perazzo.