Yale Study Reports LEED Fails to Protect Health

Yale Environmental StudiesWith a new wave of concern by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Office of Disability Affairs now including chemical sensitivities as a disability they will defend, building owners and managers must consider that we are looking at an growing number of complaints that will radically change the cleaning industry.

Reports, like the one from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies is yet another indication that the standard of "Cleaning for Appearance" is no longer acceptable.  Cleaning for health is more than a token phrase.  It is a proactive, credible, and full-commitment to a health and toxin-free school, workplace, or public building.  Of course, there is never a 100% solution, but there is a lot of room for improvement.  Yale Study Link

A toxic building didn't happen overnight, and it isn't solved with a single effort.  A healthy building is a collective effort to solve latent and haunting issues one-by-one.  The HVAC system should be properly maintained and upgraded.  Pest control programs need to be seriously scrutinized.  Installing new furniture, carpet, or paint should be evaluated for VOC offgassing.

But, one of the biggest issues is the cleaning service.  Too often the cleaning program is allocated to the lowest-bid or a neglected department in-house.  To get ahead of the pending onslaught of regulations, litigation, and cost of emergency problems; the cleaning service needs to be fully upgraded.

The Green Clean Institute believes that the truly Green cleaning service is measured on its ability to provide three deliverables:

1- GCI Green Clean Technician certified workers on the job (Education)
2- GCI Green firm credentials  (Certification)
3- Verification of Green and Health services to the building (Implementation)

If your cleaning service cannot deliver these three deliverables to your building, they are a pretend Green cleaning service.