Cleaning for Asthma Safe Schools (CLASS):
The Green Cleaning Toolkit
The California Air Resources Board has found significant environmental health concerns in many of California’s classrooms that stem from the very products used to keep schools clean. As a result, school children and staff are unnecessarily exposed to chemicals commonly found in traditional cleaning products that have been linked to asthma and cancer.
Schools are becoming increasingly aware that healthy and environmentally friendly facilities foster academic achievement and staff well-being. Proactive school districts across the state have examined their cleaning practices to develop strategies for improving student and staff health and reducing their impact on the environment. One strategy that has repeatedly proven successful across California is transitioning to the exclusive use of certified green cleaning products. How can your school district do the same?
Green Schools Initiative and the California Department of Public Health's Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program, with technical assistance from the Green Purchasing Institute, are collaborating to help schools in California implement green cleaning through our Cleaning for Asthma Safe Schools (CLASS) Pilot Project. Use these resources to get started and help your school make the switch!
1) Learn the Facts About Green Cleaning Products
- The Health and Environmental Benefits
- Disinfectant Overkill: A Report by Women's Voices for the Earth
- The Costs
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Safer Disinfectants and Disinfecting Practices
2) Read About How Other Schools Are Doing It
- Greener School Supplies = Healthier Kids:
A Report from the Environmental Working Group
- Green School Profile: The Novato Unified School District
- Breathing Easier: School Districts Make the Switch
to Certified Green Cleaning Products: A Report from RAMP
3) Get Started! Download a presentation, sample letter, forms, and sample policies:
- How to Start a Green Cleaning Pilot Program: An Overview
- RAMP's "Green Cleaning in Schools: A Guide for Advocates"
- Sample letter to your school
- Green Cleaning Survey for Schools
- Green Cleaning Product Inventory Form
- Green Cleaning Product Evaluation Form
- Green Cleaning Sample Policy
- Green School Operations Policy, CSBA's Sample School Board Policy
4) Use the CA Department of Public Health's Guidance
- Healthy Cleaning & Asthma-Safer Schools: A How-To Guide (PDF)
- Healthy Cleaning and Asthma-Safer Schools (video, 4-mins)
5) Find Green Cleaning Products
Our comprehensive Green Schools Buying Guide contains:
- A cleaning product cost calculator
- Tips for writing green bid product specifications
- Links to lists of green cleaning products
- and more!