Back to School
A new school year is about to begin, and school maintenance crews are getting ready to go to war against spilled milk, sticky floors, and every other mess that’s bound to happen when hundreds of children are together. In addition to general cleaning, the maintenance crew is also the school’s first line of defense against dangerous bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. However, this increase in cleaning and sanitizing using stronger chemical cleaners has also created several critical problems, most importantly: chemical related health problems in students and staff.
Back to Chemicals
Frequent cleaning is generally a good thing, but when harsh chemicals are used, the results can be harmful and destructive. Recently, we have seen an increase in student asthma, rashes, and other symptoms related to chemical cleaners. Even more alarming are the long-term effects these chemicals have on the maintenance staff themselves, due to their daily, extended exposure. Many common cleaners are known to be carcinogenic or cause fertility issues after repeated exposure.
Additionally, we’ve also learned that chemical cleaners can actually increase bacteria growth! When maintenance staff wipe down surfaces after cleaning, some of the cleaner is left behind—it’s inevitable. Over time, this residue forms a film in which bacteria can grow. Chemicals are also hard on surfaces. As an example, floors cleaned with cleaning chemicals need to be re-coated more frequently adding to the many hidden costs of using chemicals.
So, what can we do? Obviously, we don’t want to stop cleaning or even reduce how frequently we clean. A cleaner world is a good thing, but we need to have a conversation about what we clean with. Using toxic cleaning chemicals in large volumes over an extended period is harmful to people, pets, and our environment.
Thankfully, there is a better way. Choosing chemical free alternatives like aqueous ozone has been proven to be just as or more effective than most chemical cleaners. More powerful than chlorine bleach, aqueous ozone kills pathogens with a 1-minute dwell time and leaves no residue. Even better, aqueous ozone is non-toxic and soft on skin so it’s safe around students and staff. Finally, aqueous ozone is safe for all surfaces. Paired with sustainable floor coatings like those provided by Ultra Durable, aqueous ozone is helping schools meet their safety and sustainability goals while extending the longevity of their floors.