Are toxic cleaning products contaminating the air in your kids’ classroom?

The Environmental Working Group just released this new report titled “Can Cleaning Supplies Contaminate Classroom Air?”. The answer, as you can imagine, is a resounding yes.

Although I use natural, non-toxic cleaners at home, it didn’t really occur to me that my kids spend a big portion of their day at school, so they are being exposed to all kinds of toxic cleaning products there that are outside my control. And if you have kids with asthma or other health problems, there’s even more cause for concern.

After reading this report, I contacted the principal at my kid’s school. I requested a list of the cleaning products used at school. Pretty quickly, she got back to me and said she’s happy to provide the information (although at the moment, I’m still waiting for it) and what’s more, she said that the district is in the process of transitioning over the “green” cleaning products – good news! Even better, I don’t think she has labeled me the “problem mom”. I think she’s receptive to the whole idea. So far, this is working out well.

If you are also concerned about the cleaning products used at your children’s school, here are some suggestions for how to talk to your school about green cleaning. Go ahead, be the mom who stirs the pot. After all, natural cleaning products are healthier for everyone – kids, teachers and school staff too. Really, they’ll thank you some day. Okay, probably not, but you’ll feel better because you took some positive action to protect the health of all our kids – and that’s worth standing up for.

Yes to safe, natural, non-toxic, biodegradable cleaners with ingredients like deionized water, vegetable based cleaning agents, surfactants, emulsifiers. That’s it!

No brand names to protect the not-so innocent but you know who these are – with ingredients like phosphates, alkylphenol exthoxylates (APE's), linear alkylate sulforate (LAS), ammonia, chlorine , sodium perborates and petroleum based colors and fragrances, these are a toxic soup. 

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