Indoor Environments and Green Buildings Policy Resource Center
Green Cleaning in Schools:
Developments in State Policy
Citation: Conn. General Statutes §§ 10-231g, 10-220; Conn. Public Act 09-81 (Green Cleaning Products in Schools Act)
Effective: October 1, 2009
Summary: This law prohibits the use of cleaning products in schools unless the products meet national or international certification program standards that have been approved by the state. The law requires local and regional boards of education to adopt green cleaning programs for all school buildings and facilities and to report on those programs.
- Requirements for Using Green Cleaning Products. According to the law, cleaning products may not be used inside a school unless they meet certain guidelines or environmental standards set by a national or international certification program that is approved by the state Department of Administrative Services. The law requires all local and regional boards of education to implement a green cleaning program for all school buildings and facilities in their districts by July 1, 2011. Such programs are defined in the law as “the procurement and proper use of environmentally preferable cleaning products.”
- Guidelines and Specifications. The law states that cleaning products should minimize to the extent possible the potential harm to human health and the environment. Although the law does not explicitly direct the state to develop guidelines or specifications by a certain date, the law prohibits the use of cleaning products unless the product meets a third-party certification standard that has been approved by the state Department of Administrative Services. The Department has issued an environmentally-preferable purchasing policy approving products certified through the Green Seal or "EcoLogo" programs.
- Notification. By October 1, 2010, and every year after, every local and regional board of education must provide school staff, and upon request, parents and guardians, with a written statement of the school district’s green cleaning program with certain minimum specified information including a notification that school staff and others are prohibited from bringing to school "any consumer product that is intended to clean, deodorize, sanitize or disinfect." The written statement must also be made available on the Web sites of the board and of the individual schools within the board’s jurisdiction, or by alternative means if no Web sites exist.
- Reporting. Each local and regional board of education must report triennially to the state Commissioner of Education on the condition of its facilities and on actions taken to implement its green cleaning program, using a state-developed school facilities survey form. The report must also be posted on the web sites of the board and of individual schools.