Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Momentum builds for JanSan research institute

September 19, 2010

The Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI) — a newly established independent institute that fosters research into the benefits of cleaning and building maintenance — has had a busy spring.

Especially with the growing popularity of green cleaning products and pro-cesses, CIRI’s mission to raise awareness of the value of cleaning through scientific research has become even more important.

In recent months, supporters of CIRI have responded in several ways to the need for independent scientific research.

Five of CIRI’s founding members have made substantial investments in the project.

Shaw Industries Inc., Kaivac Inc., ISSA, P&G Pro Line™ and Tennant Company have each committed to giving $50,000 to CIRI’s Scientific Advisory Council, which will bring the brightest minds to bear on cleaning science.

And, CIRI appointed Michael Berry, Ph.D., former deputy director of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and author of Protecting the Built Environment: Cleaning for Health, as the new executive director of the Scientific Advisory Council.

Berry will be joined on the Scientific Advisory Council by Marilyn Black, Ph.D., founder and chief scientist for Air Quality Sciences; Gene Cole, Dr. P.H., professor of environmental health sciences at Brigham Young University; Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Simmons College; and Steven Spivak, Ph.D., professor emeritus with the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland.

Berry said this year’s goals for the Scientific Advisory Council include:

  • Establishing a cleaning science research and analysis framework that will help define “what is clean?”
  • Creating a cleaning science information database on the CIRI website ( to catalog existing research.
  • Conducting a summer workshop to prepare a comprehensive “State of Cleaning Science” report for industry review and publication.
  • Preparing and presenting a three-year strategic information collection and research plan.

CIRI also unanimously elected 11 industry leaders to its board of directors:

  • Patti Costello — American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES)
  • Chuck Crawford — JohnsonDiversey Inc.
  • John Garfinkel — ISSA
  • Jim Harris — Concepts IV
  • Frank Hurd — Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)
  • Tom Jones — University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)
  • Paul Mattia — Ecolab Inc.
  • Carey Mitchell — Shaw Industries Inc.
  • Bob Robinson — Kaivac Inc.
  • Charlie Smith — Tennant Company
  • Humphrey Tyler — Cleaning Management Institute

Harris, who will serve as board chairman, said the organization was fortunate “to have people of this caliber willing to serve on the CIRI Board. They participated in the first organizational meetings in 2005, and have been active in helping shape the CIRI mission and vision.”

Finally, CIRI is currently soliciting scientific papers dealing with cleaning issues to be presented at the first CIRI Conference & Symposium, scheduled for April 30 to May 2, 2007, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“The primary goal of the CIRI conference is to increase the collective level of knowledge in the cleaning profession by providing research results and examples that are readily transferable to the industry,” said Thomas Jones, an associate professor at UNLV and CIRI board member who will be editor of the conference proceedings.

Jones explained that all original studies and conceptual papers related to cleaning are welcome, with particular consideration given to papers that address sustainability issues and green cleaning methods.

Jones said he expects that conference papers will deal with the following topics:

  • The development of environmentally benign chemicals, their application and proficiency
  • Equipment design that improves the cleaning process
  • Employee training and development in the cleaning industry
  • Epidemiological studies with implications for the cleaning industry
  • Ergonomic studies of cleaning workers
  • Cleaning products and equipment experiments
  • Pollution studies of cleaning processes and products.

For information about the conference or the conference papers, contact Thomas Jones by mail at Department of Hotel Management, W.F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154-6021 or by e-mail at For information about CIRI, log on: