When choosing cleaning products for the commercial cleaning we perform we must be careful:
It is important to note that some may contain a variety of hazardous chemicals such as corrosives, carcinogens, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that have negative effects to human health and the environment. Such cleaning products if disposed into the sewer may pollute local freshwater supplies, which in turn lead to soil degradation and contamination of the aquatic ecosystem. It is always important to ensure that the products used during commercial cleaning have the correct levels of ingredients which are not potentially hazardous. The products should also be readily biodegradable.
The packaging of cleaning products is of great importance. The materials used to package these cleaning products, if not well disposed of, can be a great source of environmental pollution especially if the material used is toxic and non-biodegradable. It is best to select cleaning products with quantities that reduce the number of packaging materials required. Have a habit of re-using or recycling the packaging materials and dispose of in the required areas when it is not re-usable.
Minimum specifications for cleaning products
The cleaning products used should either meet the best practice performance criteria or meet the minimum performance criteria below.
There are products that should not be used for cleaning services. These products include chlorine-based sanitary cleaners and highly acidic toilet and bathroom cleaners with inorganic acids (except if specified within a healthcare facility), chemical drain cleaners, chemical air fresheners, and sprays containing propellants.
Cleaning products must be monitored to ensure that the concentration of heavy metals falls in the range provided.
Arsenic must not exceed 0.5 mg/l
Chromium must not be more than 0.5 mg/l
Cadmium must not be more than 0.1 mg/l
Mercury must not be more than 0.02 mg/l
Lead must not be more than 0.5 mg/l
Cleaning products must not have more than 1 percent of phosphorus by weight. When phosphorus is washed to the sewer systems, it may supply nutrients that might be responsible for the growth of algae. This can eventually lead to blockage of the sewer system.
Cleaning products should not have restricted substances such as aniline-based amines, alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEO) or derivatives thereof, reactive chlorine compounds, halogenated organic substances or solvents, and aziridine or polyaziridines.
The products used must contain only surfactants and organics constituents that are readily biodegradable aerobically. This will reduce the environmental, soil, and aquatic pollution caused when the products are released into sewer systems.
The equipment used in cleaning use resources such as water and energy, and have the ability to produce different types of waste. They should, therefore, be checked to ensure they have minimum or no negative impact on the environment. It is important to consider using equipment that conserves energy and/or water, equipment made of recycled materials, or those that can be recycled, and non-toxic equipment. The equipment should be regularly maintained to improve performance and reduce pollution.