International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

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IJCSA Member Articles

  • 16 Nov 2018 12:53 PM | Rosana Constantino

    In today's world, we are constantly surrounded by toxic contaminants. The most dangerous are known as Volatile Organic Compounds and Persistent Organic Pollutants. The EPA reports that VOCs are emitted by a wide range of consumer and industrial products, among them, everyday cleaning products.

    These everyday cleaners are meant to facilitate our lives, but are, in fact, harming us. Unfortunately, we the consumers are the reason they are being manufactured. Organic chemicals are inexpensive to produce and are very effective, something very appealing to the mass production process.

    Please note that VOCs are not ingredients themselves, rather, they are gases that are constantly being released from organic chemicals used in the manufacturing process. EPA studies indicate that people who clean using products containing organic chemicals can expose themselves and others to high pollutant levels. Even after you're done cleaning, elevated concentrations can persist in the air for hours.

    The novelty of POPs is that they are highly stable organic compounds often used as disinfectants. POPs are a real problem because they persist in the environment, accumulate in human and animal fatty tissues, and are toxic to most forms of life.

    Most everyday cleaning products contain POPs as their main ingredient and are found in household insecticides and moth repellants. According to the EPA, nearly every person on earth can be shown to have detectable levels of POPs.

    There are also variants such as Persistent, Bio-accumulative, and Toxic pollutants that pose a risk to humans and wildlife ecosystems that make them horribly destructive to our planet and our health.

    Overexposure to VOCs can cause adverse health conditions such as coughing, fever, muscle aches, and allergies. High levels of VOCs and POPs have been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, and even death. The use of products that emit VOCs and POPs is also at least in part responsible for many conditions such as Sick Building Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and Asthma.

    Why then are they still being manufactured and sold to the public? The truth is that there are few regulations of these chemicals. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only tests prescription drugs and consumable products. The EPA only investigates after there have been many complaints reported. Basically, if a product ever gets to a point where it warrants an investigation, it's likely too late. Interestingly enough, the EPA already lists most VOCs and POPs as Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS), but unfortunately, chemical production continues largely unregulated.

    To protect ourselves, we need to reduce or eliminate our exposure to these substances. Some of the most toxic are found in everyday products like all-purpose cleaners, oven cleaners, and fabric softeners.

    These environmental poisons need to be replaced with non-toxic and environmentally safe counterparts, if not by the government, then by each and every one of us. For daily cleaning, baking soda and vinegar are wonderful natural alternatives that do a great job keeping things clean.

    For an ongoing green solution, you can seek out a green cleaning service provider at www.ijcsa.org/Green-Cleaning-Services 


    Sources:

    VOC Information: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html

    POP Information: http://www.epa.gov/international/toxics/pop.htm

    PBT Information: http://www.epa.gov/pbt

    Extremely Hazardous Substances: http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/baq/docs/ehsalpha.pdf

    Effects of POPs: http://www.childenvironment.org/position.htm


  • 15 Nov 2018 7:40 PM | Kellie Turner

    http://www.ijcsa.org/Green-Cleaning-Services

                    When it comes to finding a green cleaning service for your home or company, there are quite a few things to consider and look for. Among the long list of things to look for there is making sure the company is certified, that it isn’t a greenwashing company, they are bonded and insured, they are committed to being green, and they know how to answer all your questions.

                    It is reassuring to make sure the company you are interested in hiring is certified. There are a lot of companies out there that claim to be certified, so it’s best to find out the certification process. One great one to look out for is the Green Seal’s GS-49 Standard. Companies that have this seal use healthy types of tools, processes, products and techniques. The requirement for this certificate is the company’s owners and employees must finish 8 hours of training annually. Making sure the company isn’t greenwashing is important to know before hiring. The best way to go about finding this out is by inquiring about their material safety data sheets. Professional cleaning companies are required by Occupational Safety and Health administration (OSHA) to have safety data sheets.

                    Although not exclusive to green cleaning companies, making sure they are bonded and insured gives you protection in case something goes wrong. Their insurance company will be responsible for covering financial losses, not you.  Look for content that specifies the company’s chemistry and describes their processes to make sure they are committed to being green, if the company is committed to being green they will use products and chemicals that are non-toxic. Give the company you are interested in hiring a call and ask all your questions. Questions like, how long have you been in business, do you train all your employee’s in green cleaning, what products do you avoid using and why, do you have certifications, or what kids of tools do you use? All these questions plus more if you feel you need to ask them are great questions to learn more about the company. If they can answer your questions and you feel comfortable with your answer, then you are ready to switch to green cleaning.

    Find IJCSA Certified Natural Green Cleaning Services Here


  • 15 Nov 2018 10:13 AM | Jillian DeAnnuntis

    Good customer service is one of the most important things a company can provide to its clients. Being able to listen to a customers needs or issues and address them in a timely and professional matter is essential for the success of any cleaning service company. 

    Members of the International Janitorial Cleaning Service Association (IJCSA) like GME Cleaning Solutions, receive customer service certifications. This teaches us how to put customers first and always make customer service a priority. To find a cleaning service provider certified in customer service go to http://www.ijcsa.org/Find-A-Cleaning-Service-Janitorial-Service.

  • 15 Nov 2018 10:07 AM | Kellie Turner

    I feel one of the biggest benefits of being green cleaning certified is the lasting effects it will have on our planet. Using regular cleaning products that have toxic chemicals in them are being released into the air and into the water. Our planet is very good at detoxing itself, however, if we continue to contribute to releasing all these toxic chemicals we aren’t helping. We are making it worse. In this article I will be going over many benefits of being green cleaning certified but, this I feel is one of the most important reasons.

    Being green cleaning certified you’ll have a knowledge of products and what chemicals to look for in them. Certain chemicals, especially when mixed together, are downright dangerous. A benefit of your company being green cleaning certified is it will help prevent people from becoming sick from the cleaning chemicals they are using. It will create a safer environment for you and your employees.

    I know I am not the only who can’t stand the smell of regular cleaning products. I dread the days our cleaning lady mops the floors because of the chemicals that are in the detergent being used. By being green cleaning certified, you can find products to switch out that will help clean up your indoor air and the effects it has on you and your employees. Did you know that the use of conventional cleaning products can contribute to higher air pollution indoors than outdoors?  Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which have been associated with a host of health problems like damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system, are released when products are used and stored and can also linger in the air long after use. 

    Having someone in your company being green cleaning certified, and switch to using green cleaning products, you are making a vote to protect the environment so to speak. Most green cleaning products are made using sustainable practices and naturally derived, safe, non-toxic, and biodegradable ingredients that do not negatively impact the environment. This speak volumes to the community. You are setting an example to companies and individuals surrounding you.

    Find Certified Green Cleaning Services Here

  • 14 Nov 2018 11:22 AM | Lisa Perry

    It is important for people in the cleaning industry to know about blood borne pathogens because they will inevitably come across blood and/or bodily fluids at some point.  Without the knowledge of how dangerous a little drop of infected blood or a contaminated bodily fluid soaked garment can be, they risk infecting themselves. 

    Not only do they need that education to protect them in their work routine, they also need to know how potentially dangerous it can be to eat, drink, and perform daily actions around contaminated materials.  Something as innocent as applying lip balm or handling a contact can be hazardous.

    The knowledge of blood borne pathogens and how to protect yourself from accidental exposure and infection is crucial in a workplace that often accommodates blood and bodily fluids.

    Learn More At THe BP Certification Course Located Here

    Find A BPC Certified Company Here


  • 14 Nov 2018 6:35 AM | Roxanne Crockett

      Our company is honored and privileged to be IJCSA Green Cleaning Certified.  We can now be productive in our environment by becoming eco-friendly.  Our customers will benefit from better environmental and air quality as well as productivity.  

      We use only green cleaning products!  Our company use several green sealed certified products. For window cleaning, we use a product called "bio-renewable".   We use a foam hand soap that is green certified.  We also use "Spartan Xcelente" as a floor care disinfectant. These products will be used in all of our accounts. 

      We plan on ensuring that all of our employees are green certified and implementing the processes efficiently and effectively.   

    Find Green Cleaning Certified Companies Here

  • 13 Nov 2018 1:02 PM | Andrew Johnson

    Salutation, 

    This post is in regard to IJCSA Members and the value of customer service. IJSCA has many program courses and certificates including one primary certificate that is for customer service. IJCSA Members must watch videos and engage in communicating with new members with respect to customer service. There is also an extensive exam at the end to test the knowledge of the exam taker. IJCSA clearly has customer service high on their list of priorities so member companies can satisfy their customers with service that is respectful, proper, and polite. 

    Find Cleaning Companies That Are Customer Service Certified Here

  • 13 Nov 2018 8:58 AM | Juliet Davison

    Walking through a local grocery store one cant help but notice the changes that the major chain stores are making towards offering Greener options to almost everything. Stores are motivated by consumers sales and manufacturers price points. This leads me to assume that we are all buying smarter and healthier products everyday. This is very good news indeed, If the typical shopper only knew about the risks when using window cleaner or oven cleaner etc, would any of us ever buy it again? 

    As the common family starts to move towards a safe and less toxic environment to live in I'm encouraged by the options being offered that are recycled or biodegradable. Many of the products that we come into contact with daily are toxic or known to cause cancer. Why would anyone pay for that type of exposure when we have safe options. The health risks are real, the effects are dangerous and deep down you know this. Every-time you hold your breath while cleaning the oven or put on gloves when washing the floor you know that this is something about that product that is harmful to your body.  

    Its time to give something new a try. If you already haven't tried that new window cleaner that is refillable and is a reusable bottle maybe now is the time? I know that my housekeeper used it with some newspapers to wash the windows and I have never seen them SO clean! 

    Did you know that 1/2 Cup of White Vinegar and a gallon of water is another wonderful window wash?  It also strips old wax off your floors and deodorizes. Vinegar is not the only pantry star that will change your cleaning life. Baking soda is laundry's best friend! Brighter, Whiter and smelling fresh Sodium Bicarbonate has been used for years to handle the washing. It is a great alternative to the synthetic laundry cleaners available that have harmful and toxic chemicals in them. 

    People with sensitive skin recognize the threat and often are among the first to switch to a natural product. I know for me it was the birth of my Son. I wanted to make all his food myself from Raw fresh ingredients. I didn't want any chemicals to taint his little new body. This was a enormous and daunting task that I was not prepared for. While I was successful in some areas like laundry detergent, foods, shampoos etc. It was impossible for me to keep him away from harsh chemicals once I went back to work. In my small town, excellent daycare were limited and definitely not Green. 

    I encourage all of you to join me in doing our part to limit our use of chemicals in our work and homes. Try taking baby steps and replace items as you run out of them. While at work find out what products are used to clean and make sure that they are safe for you and your co workers to use. Educate your coworkers on the benefits of going Green and removing the risk of toxic or dangerous chemicals in your workplace and in our homes.  

    IJCSA Green Cleaning Service Directory

  • 13 Nov 2018 8:43 AM | Kellie Turner

    It is extremely important for cleaning employee’s and staff to know about bloodborne pathogens because, if exposed to blood or other bodily fluids they are at risk for serious or life-threatening illness. The definition of bloodborne pathogens is, pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. The pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. It is important for anyone who could encounter someone else’s blood to know what to do in that case and how to prevent themselves from contact, because it could save their life.

                    One thing all companies whose employees have a high risk of contact with bloodborne pathogens put an Exposure Control Plan in place. This plan follows all the requirements of OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. The exposure control plan is a written plan to eliminate or minimize occupational exposures.

                                                                      

    For more information check out the website link. http://www.ijcsa.org/Bloodborne-Pathogen-Certification

  • 13 Nov 2018 6:59 AM | Michael Roberts
    Non-certified companies just don't measure up. The knowledge of certified IJCSA professionals well ensure a successful deep-cleaning and sanitizing, regardless of you carpets style, material, condition or age. Certified IJCSA professionals know how to safely clean your carpet whether you have small children or pets at home, during or after their cleaning process,
    by using green cleaning products and techniques they can keep the whole family safe and prevent exposure to harsh chemicals.

    www.ijcsa.org for carpet cleaning directory and cleaning services.

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