- New York State Office of General Services (OGS) Commissioner, John C. Egan, announced that the agency has created a free online training course to teach schools and other public institutions about green cleaning methods that can help reduce the spread of communicable diseases. The course is free and can be accessed through a simple registration process on the New York State Green Cleaning website at https://greencleaning.ny.gov.
"Over the last several years, the flu has had a major impact on school attendance," Commissioner Egan said. "This online training course can help schools learn effective ways to reduce the spread of the flu without using potentially harmful chemicals and lower the number of classroom days lost due to illness of students and staff."
Developed in conjunction with the New York State Department of Health (DOH), the course is the latest in a series of online tutorials designed to help reduce the use of potentially toxic chemicals in institutional settings. The free courses were created in response to the New York State Green Cleaning Law, which mandates the use of environmentally sensitive (green) cleaning products in all New York State's public and non-public elementary and secondary schools.
"Keeping public areas clean can help prevent exposure to harmful germs and is an important step in preventing the transmission of communicable diseases like influenza," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "We are pleased to partner with the Office of General Services and other State agencies to provide online training to staff at schools and other public institutions on how green cleaning practices can contribute to reducing the spread of contagious diseases."
"The State Education Department is pleased to partner with OGS, DOH, DEC, and Labor to improve the indoor environment of school facilities. Healthier learning environments will reduce absenteeism, allowing students additional time to pursue their studies," said David Steiner
, New York State Education Commissioner. "Professional development for school maintenance staff will allow today's safe and effective cleaning products to be used in an effective manner to protect the health of students and staff."
There are now a total of eight green cleaning tutorials available online ranging from green cleaning basics, to floor and carpet cleaning, to restroom cleaning. The courses provide schools and state agencies with information, resources, and tools to plan and implement a comprehensive green cleaning program customized to their community and site-specific needs. Studies show that when schools adopt green cleaning practices, children's exposure to harmful cleaning chemicals and substances is reduced. Green cleaning, when practiced by more and more school and government facilities will also make a significant difference for the environment.