Celebrate Healthy Schools: Switch to Less-toxic Cleaners!

Regional Asthma Management and Prevention is joining advocates around the country to celebrate the creation of healthier school environments.  This year’s focus is on the transition to certified green cleaning products, which help reduce exposure to indoor air pollutants.

RAMP and its partners have supported and worked directly on both educational and policy-related efforts to minimize exposure to environmental asthma triggers in schools for several years at the state and local levels. Recently, RAMP worked with Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, the California Teacher’s Association, the Coalition for Clean Air, the Environmental Working Group, and the Green Schools Initiative on a resolution declaring April 26th 2010 California Healthy Schools Day.  Through this resolution, the California State Legislature officially recognizes the importance of healthy indoor air quality and encourages schools to take proactive steps to improve indoor air quality, including switching to green cleaning products. If you’d like to read the resolution, click here. Continuing our commitment to creating healthier schools for students, teachers, and staff, RAMP is also releasing a new tool to help local advocates address indoor air quality at their schools.  Green Cleaning: A Guide for Advocates provides information, resources, and strategic advice on how parents, students, and other advocates can work with their school district to improve indoor air quality at schools by transitioning to the use of certified green cleaning products.

Many schools and districts – including Elk Grove, Fairfield-Suisun, and Fresno – have already made the switch to certified less-toxic cleaning products and are seeing the benefits: saving money, decreasing asthma triggers, improving attendance, reducing worker injuries, and overall making the school environment a healthier place to learn, work, and play.  You can read more about their experience in RAMP’s report, Breathing Easier: School Districts Make the Switch to Certified Green Cleaning Products.

We invite you to take part in Healthy Schools Day and join the many schools across the state and country that are already taking action to curb children’s exposure to dangerous chemicals. There are many resources available to help you get started. So, plan your actions for making your school a green and healthy school – every day!

For additional resources on green cleaning and maintaining healthy indoor air quality in schools see:

U.S. EPA’s Tools for Schools Program:  http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/pubs.html

Environmental Working Group’s Study: http://www.ewg.org/schoolcleaningsupplies/overview

Green Schools Initiative’s Green Cleaning Toolkit: http://www.greenschools.net/article.php?id=245