New Jersey has become the second state to activate “Green Cleaning” at a statewide level to further the cause of indoor air quality, following the advice of Deirdre Imus, founder and president of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology as part of Hackensack University Medical Center. Governor Richard J. Codey signed Executive Order No. 76, requiring all state agencies and authorities to begin using environmentally-friendly cleaning products that are free of harmful chemicals.

The order was signed at the State Capitol in the presence of Deirdre, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell, and reporters. In making the announcement, Governor Codey said, “Today we can breathe easier knowing our workplaces will be safer and our environment will be cleaner. These safer, more environmentally friendly products are available, affordable and effective so it makes sense to switch.”

Imus has been raising public awareness about the potential hazards of cleaning chemicals for five years, and in 2004 she reached out to New York Governor George Pataki. In January 2005, Governor Pataki issued a “Green Cleaning” Executive Order after recognizing Imus and her work on behalf of children’s health in his State of the State Address. In August, Governor Pataki signed the “Green Cleaning Act” (A8742) into law, which required elementary and secondary schools in the state to follow suit, and amended the state’s education and finance laws to allow this.

“An Executive Order is the first step that can have far-reaching consequences for environmental health, and it's an excellent opportunity for other Governors," says Imus. “We are delighted Governor Codey is taking action now because there’s no time to waste when it comes to health, especially for our children.”

To read details of the executive order, click here.