Does Green Cleaning Really Matter?

Posted on September 9, 2015

When is the last time you stopped by your local hardware store or supermarket for cleaning supplies? Did you notice how many product labels feature the words green or sustainable? From dish soap to laundry soap, green chemicals can be found just about everywhere, but does the use of green chemicals in green cleaning really matter?

Green chemistry is not just something that happened in the last decade. In fact, the American Chemical Society and the Environmental Protection Agency both trace the use and development of green chemicals to the 1960s. In 1962, Rachel Carson published a book, Silent Springthat details the negative effects of synthetic pesticides on the environment. The book discusses the use of natural versus synthetic chemistry and encourages change in how we use chemicals in our homes and commercially.

The green chemicals that are used today in commercial cleaning are engineered to perform their jobs with the same quality of their synthetic predecessors. Sustainable practices, such as dumping waste water into drains that lead to water treatment facilities helps to ensure that toxins and pollutants will not enter the environment.

There are obvious environmental advantages to the use of green chemicals and sustainable practices, namely the lack of pollution. In addition to this, there is also a major advantage for the consumer of green chemicals and those who work in the buildings that are cleaned with them. In 1984, the World Health Organization cited a study that found 30% of remodeled buildings worldwide suffered from sick building syndrome. The WHO attributed this to inadequate HVAC and outgassing of fumes from chemicals. So what does this all mean? Using chemicals that give off fumes known as volatile organic compounds when they dry, means that occupants of the buildings that are cleaned could suffer negative side effects.

How many times have we purchased chemicals for cleaning because of the way that they smell? Strange to think that the very smell that makes the place seem clean was also making us sick. To help keep building occupants healthy, one of the major breakthroughs in the development of green cleaning chemicals has been to lessen the amount of perfumes in the chemicals that are used when we perform commercial cleaning.

Does green cleaning really matter? The answer is yes, for the earth as well as for the buildings in which we work. This is why at JAN-PRO we are dedicated to partnering with chemical manufacturers that produce perfume free, sustainable and green chemicals.