Teachers, students and other building occupants in schools across the state of Illinois have noticed the custodial efforts to use green cleaning products and procedures. In August, the governor signed the Green Cleaning Schools Act, giving school officials 90 days to implement green initiatives and the shift has been noticeable.

According to reports from the Daily Chronicle in Sycamore, Ill., the custodial department shave jump-started their efforts to implement eco-friendly cleaning methods. The staff was anxious to begin reducing the amount of pollutants exposed to occupants within the facility. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, "half of all students and school staff are exposed to polluted indoor air that can be two to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. Chemicals found in everyday cleaners, waxes, deodorizers and other maintenance products contribute to the pollution."

To help make the switch to green products and procedures, many schools sought help from the Healthy Schools Campaign, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization.

Illinois was the second state — just behind New York — to implement legislation requiring that all elementary and secondary schools to purchase environmentally sensitive cleaning supplies that do not expose students and teachers to harmful chemicals.

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