Rachel's Precaution Reporter #47  [Printer-friendly version]
July 19, 2006


[Rachel's introduction: In early 2005, New York Governor George
Pataki signed Executive Order #134 requiring state agencies to
use "green" cleaning products. In August 2005 this was extended by
legislation to include all schools in New York, public and private.]

New York state will soon adopt regulations to limit exposure of
students and staff to toxic cleaning and maintenance products in all
New York schools, public and private. The change has resulted from
relentless pressure by the Healthy Schools Network, Inc.

It began when Governor George Pataki issued Executive Order #134 in
January 2005. The state legislature carried the idea further, passing
Education Law Section 9, Article 409 in June 2006, directing state
agencies to adopt regulations intended to protect students and staff
from toxic cleaning products.

State agencies are now writing regulations defining what the new law
means. Because of the bizarre rule-making system we have developed in
the U.S., citizens seeking health-protective regulations are now
opposed by corporations who are working overtime to increase the
allowable exposures of students and staff to toxicants. As always, the
resulting regulations will most likely not be truly health-protective
but will be a compromise between the health of children and staff of
New York schools and the "right" of the corporations to turn a buck.

The draft regulations that were issued for public comment this spring
(the comment period closed in early May) proposed that the state would
adopt Green Seal standards for several lines of products, including
general purpose cleaners, paper towels, toilet paper, etc. In other
words, no chlorine. Citizens asked for more, including the elimination
of hormone-disrupting chemicals and fragrances.

A free Guide to Healthier Cleaning and Maintenance: Products and
Practices for Schools is available here.


Claire L. Barnett, MBA, Executive Director
Healthy Schools Network, Inc.
Coordinator, Coalition for Healthier Schools


202-543-7555, 518-462-0632

773 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
110 Maryland Ave, NE, Ste 505
Washington, DC 20002

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