DEEP: Governor Rell Signs Bill Requiring Green Cleaning Products In Public Schools

June 11, 2009

Governor Rell Signs Bill Requiring Green
Cleaning Products in Public Schools

Governor M. Jodi Rell today signed House Bill 6496 that requires local and regional school districts to used green cleaning products in schools, helping to ensure a healthier air quality for students, faculty and staff.

"Schools are places of great promise for our children, where dedicated teachers and staff help shape and guide their futures. We can now color that future green, as well," Governor Rell said during a bill signing at Vernon Center Middle School. "This law will help ensure a healthy environment for everyone who walks through the doors of public schools in Connecticut."

House Bill 6496 requires school districts to have a green cleaning program in place by July 1, 2011. The environmentally preferable products must meet nationally certified guidelines and approved by the state Department of Administrative Services. They include products used for general purpose cleaning, bathroom, glass and carpet cleaners; hand cleaners and soaps; floor finishers and strippers. The law also requires that the types of cleaners and the methods used be made public.

The bill drew broad support from educators, the environmental community, health professionals and parents. During the legislative process, proponents testified that nearly one-quarter of cleaning chemicals used in schools are toxic and significantly affect indoor air quality.

"This signals the end of harsh, toxic chemical cleaners used around generations of schoolchildren," Governor Rell said. "It is about time we cleared the air."