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Friday's Ask the Experts: Green cleaning

October 08, 2010
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Friday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: When a general purpose "green" cleaner''s ingredients list is simply "purified water, cleaning agents, ethanol, fragrance" what is your opinion about its shade of green? It appears the consumer gets little helpful info, and chasing down an environmental sheet or MSDS is difficult or impossible if you''re not a wholesale buyer. Can you provide advice on this dilemma?
The answer:
The requirements for household products are regulated by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), while those to be used in the workplace are regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). CPSC and OSHA have very different labeling requirements, and frankly both leave a lot to be desired when it comes to providing important information about ingredients on a product''s label.
But my advice to you is to begin by using commercial/institutional cleaning products. Even if you are a small company, I would encourage you to purchase from a local janitorial supply company (if you''re not already doing so), as opposed to ... — Stephen P. Ashkin, president, The Ashkin Group LLC
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