In recent years, cleaning chemical manufacturers have taken a proactive approach to remove any proven harmful ingredients formerly found in their products.
These actions are in response to laboratory findings that emissions from certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are linked to negatively impacting human health.
For building owners and facility managers, these health risks can also add up to missed work days, decreased productivity and morale, loss of customers, reputation and, in serious cases, lawsuits.
The trend in cleaning chemicals — as a result of increased awareness — is educated, conscious customers carefully selecting safer alternatives that the market offers.
However, in the not-too-distant past, customers relied on manufacturers’ product claims touted as safer alternatives, many of which were proven false years later.
Today, independent, third-party certifying organizations — such as Green Seal® and EcoLogoM — have offered assurance to customers.
For certification, today’s chemicals are put through stringent testing to ensure quality and cost.
Although the industry’s — as well as the government’s — standards for providing a safe environment for people to work, study, live and play in have elevated, cleaning chemicals still require special care and attention when applying and mixing.
Misuse can lead to such hazards as equipment failure, area damage and personal injury.
Therefore, although this product category is considered safer today compared to previous offerings, the cleaning staff and workers who will be in direct contact with cleaning chemicals are still required to pay close attention to follow manufacturers’ labels, ask for and review Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and participate in training.
Product-task match is also vital in guaranteeing the longevity of equipment and upholding the value of targeted cleaning areas — utilize the best product for the specific task.