Here are three misconceptions about healthier cleaning that can affect facilities you clean:

1. Cleaning and health care are totally separate functions.
Although you would not call your cleaning company for help if you broke your arm, it is a myth that cleaning and health care are mutually exclusive processes. This is because cleaning is proven to help prevent illness and disease.

For example, hard surfaces are known to harbor pathogens, and proper cleaning and sanitization can remove or inactivate them. Airborne dust escaping from improper dusting tools or poorly filtered or maintained vacuum cleaners can aggravate or cause respiratory issues, while capturing dust helps to keep dust out of the air and the lungs of building occupants, including the professionals who are doing the cleaning.

2. Healthy cleaning is addition, not subtraction.
Sometimes crews and customers expect indoor environments to smell nice, so cleaners will add a fragrance to cleaning processes or use product ingredients that leave an orange, pine, or other fresh scent. This form of addition may be unhealthy, as natural fragrance additives are costly and may trigger reactions in persons who are chemically sensitive.

Remember: Cleaning is about removing unwanted substances from the indoor environment, not adding them.

3. All-natural cleaning is healthier.
Cleaning products containing natural ingredients are considered healthier by many sincere persons, but substances such as d-limonene (orange oil), pine, and essential oils consist of organic compounds that are known to react with airborne pollutants in smog—or ozone from office equipment—to create substances such as formaldehyde. Adding these to the breathing zone is unhealthy, according to a 2006 article from the journal Indoor Air, the international journal of indoor environment and health.

The Truth
Adding contaminants to the indoor environment by redistributing soils, such as dust, or applying heavily fragranced solutions can be costly and unhealthy in terms of building occupant well-being, labor, and productivity.

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