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Green Cleaning & Sanitizing

Some cleaners and disinfectants can be hazardous to worker health and indoor air quality. However, these hazards can be controlled or even eliminated. The most effective method of control is to substitute a less hazardous material for a hazardous one. This means identifying safe alternatives that can replace conventional hazardous cleaning and disinfecting products that are used in the workplace or home. By eliminating the hazard, the risk is also eliminated. This strategy has been effectively used in many settings and is a cornerstone of Pollution Prevention and OSHA’s Hierarchy of Controls for all occupational hazards.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), with funding from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and in partnership with Rhode Island Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (RICOSH) and NEWMOA, worked on a Project to encourage this approach throughout the janitorial and housekeeping community and schools in RI and Southeastern New England from 2020-2021. The Project focused on engaging with stakeholders and developing training and learning objects to educate people about the health and environmental risks or traditional cleaners and disinfectants and how to assess and identify them in the marketplace.

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Environmental Justice

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