GUSCIORA BILL TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM POTENTIALLY HARMFUL CLEANING PRODUCTS AT SCHOOL ADVANCED BY ASSEMBLY PANEL

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) to protect children from potentially harmful cleaning products while at school and day care has been released by an Assembly committee.

“Children are vulnerable to and may be severely affected by exposure to chemicals, hazardous waste and other environmental hazards,” said Gusciora. “Children, teachers, janitors and other school employees spend a significant amount of time inside school buildings and may be continuously exposed to chemicals from cleaning products. This bill seeks to limit that exposure by mandating the use of cleaning products that minimize potential health hazards.”

The bill (A-1848) would require the state Department of Education (DOE) to adopt a green cleaning policy for schools and child care centers with 50 or more students.

The policy would require the use of environmentally sensitive cleaning products in public, private and charter schools, and child care service centers with 50 or more students. The bill defines an “environmentally sensitive cleaning product” as any cleaning or maintenance product that minimizes potential impacts to human health and the environment.

“Green cleaning makes schools healthier for children and the adults that work there,” said Gusciora. “To ensure that schools and child care centers are using the appropriate cleaning products, the bill also requires the DOE to establish and make available on its website, guidelines and specifications for the purchase of environmentally sensitive cleaning products.”

The bill would not preclude the use of an existing supply of cleaning products purchased on or prior to the date that the bill becomes law.

The bill was released by the Assembly Education Committee.