LEED certification requires that facility managers
All disinfectants sold in the United States must be registered by the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the EPA, a disinfectant is a substance or mixture of substances that destroys or suppresses the growth of harmful microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, or fungi on inanimate objects and surfaces. The purpose of the EPA number to specify which microorganisms that product will eliminate after contact with an inanimate object. All disinfectants, whether traditional or eco friendly, are also regulated by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Disinfectants have become of the main items in the assortment of eco friendly cleaning products. It can be produced in a form of concentrated powder, spray, or liquid. Even with these forms, there are several differences between traditional cleaning products and green facility cleaning products. For instance, green cleaning is done to reduce the impact on the environment while protecting the health of the building occupants. Traditional cleaning products are used to eliminate the harmful bacteria and viruses that reside on many surfaces without taking into the account the impact of the environment. While most cleaning products will eliminate of most of the surrounding hazardous bacteria, there are a few pathogens that will remain that a green commercial cleaning product can handle. These forms of bacteria are called volatile organic chemicals. These chemicals reside in the air after the use of the traditional cleaning products and can cause damage to the skins and lungs. Another important factor when cleaning with zero toxicity cleaning products is the techniques involved with disinfecting a specific area. Spraying a disinfectant on a certain area and does not always mean it is sanitized. First important rule with using disinfectants is to let the green cleaning product stay on the surface for a short while in order to let it kill the microorganisms. Secondly, some disinfectants are not as effective when there are multiple layers of dirt or grime on the surface. The proper way to use disinfectants and many zero toxicity cleaning products is use a two step cleaning process. The first step is to clean the entire surface area with clean towel. The custodian can use water as a base to wipe of the primary layers of dirt or grime on the surface. The second step is to apply the disinfectant; let it settle in for a minute, and wipe the surface clean. Zero toxicity cleaning products will highly reduce risk of transferring dangerous microorganisms after the disinfectant is applied properly. The keys to using green cleaning disinfectants is selecting the right product from janitorial supply companies and utilizing the right techniques. Cleaning and maintaining LEED certified buildings require more extensive effort that traditional buildings. This will benefit the indoor environment and the overall health of its occupants.