Greening The Cleaning

Your Work Place may be Unnecessarily Hazardous to your Health

  • Environmental hazards that exist in many workplaces can have negative health consequences.
  • 64 million Americans or approximately 50% of the workforce have complained of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)  style symptoms. SBS is 23% of those 64 million report that their symptoms improve after leaving their work environment.
  • The estimated money lost due to our unhealthy buildings could be as much as $60 billion.
  • By improving our work environment, we could save $10 - $23 billion in reduced instances of respiratory illness; $3 - $6 billion could be saved due to reduced allergies and asthma.
  • Over 14 million school days are lost due to asthma, with an attendance of 68.5 million children who attend over 117,000 public and private elementary and secondary schools in the nation.
  • 10 million out patient hospital visits are attributed to asthma, coupled with 2 million emergency visits and over 4500 people die every year due to asthma related problems.
  • In the United States, absenteeism and presenteeism (the act of employees coming to work while sick and therefore not fully engaged) cost U.S. employers an estimated US$225 billion per year, or approximately $1,685 per employee1. Every year, businesses lose $48 billion and 407 workdays due to absenteeism2. In 2002, sick days cost companies $660 per person per year and nine percent of their payroll was spent on absenteeism.3
  • 100: the number of times higher that indoor air pollution levels can be above outdoor air pollution levels, according to US EPA estimates.
  • 2000: the number of products DfE (the US EPA’s  Design for the Environment Program) has labeled in the institutional and industrial cleaning sector, resulting in the use of hundreds of millions of pounds of safer chemicals.
  • 275: the number of active ingredients in antimicrobials that the EPA classifies as pesticides because they are designed to kill microbes.
  • 5 billion: the number of pounds of chemicals that the institutional cleaning industry uses each year.
  • 23: the average gallons of chemicals (that's 87 liters) that a janitor uses each year, 25 percent of which are hazardous.
  • 230,000,000,000: the amount of USD$ the federal government spends annually on products and services on the US environmental "footprint."
  • 17,000: the number of petrochemicals available for home use, only 30 percent of which have been tested for exposure to human health and the environment.
  • 63: the number of synthetic chemical products found in the average American home, translating to roughly 10 gallons of harmful chemicals
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