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Nassau County Executive Signs "Green Cleaning" Executive Order

Hackensack, N.J., November 30, 2006 – With children’s environmental health advocate Deirdre Imus by his side, Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi signed an Executive Order mandating the use of “green” cleaning products, free of potentially harmful chemicals, in all county facilities.

Nassau County is using the award-winning Greening the Cleaning® products at its Executive Building in Mineola, N.Y., where the signing took place November 29. The environmentally-responsible line of products was developed by the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology®, part of Hackensack University Medical Center, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation in Hackensack, N.J.

“Deirdre Imus along with Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) have gone on a campaign to promote environmentally sensitive products that not only do the job of cleaning and are cost-effective, but are, in fact, not harmful to us,” County Executive Suozzi said. He marked the occasion with a county proclamation declaring November 29, 2006 “Deirdre Imus Day.”
Care for Kids First

Ms. Imus, President and founder of the Environmental Center, emphasized that the Greening the Cleaning® program is about improving environmental health. “There is a real need to get rid of and eliminate toxins in our environment wherever possible. We specifically focus on children’s health, because we believe that if you take care of our children, you also take care of everyone else, and the planet,” she said.

Greening the Cleaning® means eliminating to the greatest extent possible, all cleaning agents containing hazardous ingredients and replacing them with naturally-derived ingredients with the least level of toxicity. For the institutional line, 100% of all profits from sales go to educational programs and research to identify, control and ultimately prevent exposures to environmental factors that may cause adult, and especially pediatric cancer, as well as other health problems with our children.

The Environmental Center represents one of the first hospital-based programs whose specific mission is to identify, control and ultimately prevent exposures to environmental factors that may cause adult, and especially pediatric cancer, as well as other health problems with our children.

The use of non-toxic cleaning products will be expanded to the rest of the county’s government operations – comprising more than 800 buildings with 9,200 employees – by early next year.

County Executive Suozzi noted there are cleaning products that people use everyday that contain chlorine, ammonia or petroleum-based ingredients that cause respiratory problems or may be carcinogenic. “They affect not just those of us in the work environment, but our children as well,” he said.

Stepping Forward

Ms. Imus applauded County Executive Suozzi for stepping forward on the issue. “Nassau County is demonstrating true leadership in acknowledging the importance of eliminating, where possible, toxic exposures and we believe it will have a profound impact across the country.”

Efforts by the Environmental Center have resulted in “Green Cleaning” Executive Orders from governors in three states -- New York, New Jersey and Connecticut -- as well as related legislation.

Michael J. Deering, Vice President for Government Affairs for the Long Island Association, called the Nassau County executive order a decision that is “good for our health, our environment and our pocketbooks.” …“By eliminating traditional cleaning solutions and replacing them with safer green products, the county will provide a more healthy setting for employees and visitors to its facilities and better educate the public about the benefits of using products that contain no toxic or hazardous materials,” he said.

Ms. Imus is also co-founder and co-director, with husband Don Imus, of The Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer, a 4,000 acre working cattle ranch in northern New Mexico which provides the experience of the American cowboy to children suffering from cancer and various blood diseases, and to children who have lost a brother or sister to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). More than 700 children have experienced the program since the ranch was founded in 1998.

The Environmental Center also helped introduce a household line of the Greening the Cleaning® products, now available at supermarkets and mass merchandisers nationwide and through Imus Ranch Foods (www.imusranchfoods.com). For the retail line, 100% of all after tax profits from sales go to The Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer.

 

 

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