International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

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IJCSA Member Articles

  • 12 Jan 2019 8:58 AM | Alberto Atallah

    How to stay healthy in a toxin-ridden business.

    It should be noted that there's no way to not be exposed to harmful toxins or bacteria in real life, but there certainly are ways to minimize it. Our bodies are suited to combat these harmful substances and help us heal and grow more immune to them, but repeated exposure and improper care can wear down even the hardiest of people. You could be a healthy individual who exercises, eats right, and takes care of their overall well-being; and still be prone to disease or other complications due to exposure to things you often don't give a second thought...such as common cleaning products that are already in your home. You'll notice many products contain the label "hazardous to humans and animals", and might think, "why would I use this all over my house or office?"

    The average household has over 60 toxic chemicals, a claim by environmental experts. These are often found in fragrances or their furniture/counter top cleaners, making people prone to asthma, cancer, and other chemical imbalances in the body. These exposures are more hidden than more direct hazards, like heavy fumes or direct contact with other chemicals. A common harmful substance found in air fresheners an dish soaps, are phthalates. These are considered endocrine disruptors, so men who are exposed to these on a constant basis suffer from reduced sperm counts and other hormonal complications. Since the skin has no protective layer like our organs do, direct contact is much less safe. You can reduce exposure to these by choosing more green options to cleanse the air; such as having plants or lighting a scented candle.

    Another harmful substance known as 2-butoxyethanol, is readily available in most window, kitchen, and all-purpose cleaners. The convenience of these items and the fresh, clean feeling they provide after use can be misleading. When you constantly inhale these scents, the body is more prone to lung, liver, and kidney damages. The riskier part is, US Law does not require this chemical to be listed on a product's label. A way to dilute or reduce this chemical's presence, is once again to employ a greener option to clean your windows and kitchen. A mixture of vinegar, oil, and water is an effective, non-threatening solution to leave your glass surfaces sparkling. Washed with a microfiber cloth or even a newspaper, you can rest assured knowing your windows are clean and your organs unharmed.

    Ammonia is another one of several common chemicals found in our cleaners. Usually they're found in products that clean bathrooms, sinks, jewelry, as well as glass. Since ammonia evaporates and leaves your glass feeling sparkly and clean, people often don't give it a second thought. Ammonia is a powerful irritant, especially bad for those who suffer from asthma or other lung issues. House cleaners who must do their work can spend hours exposed to this, and even if they suffered no health issues before, they can suddenly spring up in the form of bronchitis or asthma. A viable choice would be to use vodka on any metal surface, as it will produce that shine without the added health risk.

    Chlorine, which is used as an antiseptic and disinfectant can be misleading in thinking it is safe. Even when you're in the pool and open your eyes underwater, you can feel the irritation it gives and the distinct red coloring your eyes get after. It's also commonly found in toilet cleaners, laundry whiteners, and mildew removers. The fumes it gives off go to your skin due to proximity, but it's also running in the tap water you brush your teeth with or shower with. The effects can be mild, or chronic, but it's certain that it causes irritation in our breathing. To scrub in an effective and safer manner, try using baking soda and vinegar. A mixture of vinegar and borax powder work well for whitening clothes. To reduce the exposure you get from tap water, consider installing filters on your sinks and showers.

    Aside from the few chemicals mentioned earlier, customers really need to be aware of greenwashing. Greenwashing refers to companies or products that label themselves as "green" or "natural" mistakenly leading to believe they are nontoxic. The environmental consulting firm known as TerraChoice Group made up a report called "The Sins of Greenwashing" in which it found more than 95% of "green" consumer products contain at least one or few harmful toxins. Being certified as a green cleaner by the IJCSA is a great step for you as a cleaning business owner, to show your customers you know proper and safe procedures to provide an effective, natural cleaning solution. Check out a green-certified company in this directory:

    Source from:

  • 11 Jan 2019 6:12 PM | Sasha Kuber

    The harmful effects of using cleaning chemicals compared to using natural green products are proven to be more riskier because of the harsh chemicals and negative affects it can have as opposed to green products that ensure safety. There are pros and cons to everything but overall the likelihood of something going "wrong" will be with chemical driven products than those that do not have it in their products. 

    "There are about 80,000 well documented chemicals commonly used, but there are many, many more in use whose environmental effects have not been studied or tested. These can range from human health to our environment. According to CBS News, unlike the numerous and heavy regulations imposed on food inspection, there is no such governmental regulation on chemical products. In addition, companies are only required to report primary, dangerous first-hand, hazardous chemicals, causing institutions to ignore chemicals with potential long-term effects or even avoid fully reporting all chemical ingredients present in a product (Smith, 2016)."

    A lot of misinformation has to deal with people not being fully aware with what ingredients are being used and what the harmful effects it can cause. If someone is uninformed and just use the first thing they see instead of doing some research and gaining more knowledge into products it can lead to a potential serious situation that could most likely have been avoided. Like mentioned in the material amyl acetate with is used in furniture polish that can attack the nervous system or Butyl cellosolve that is found in all-purpose cleaners and can irritate mucous membranes that attacks the liver and kidney these are just a couple of harmful products that can have serious impact on someone's health. 

    It is important to be aware and informed with every product and equipment being used as to stress the importance of one's health, others around and the environment. 24/7 Commercial Cleaning can be found in the  IJCSA Green Cleaning Directory to ensure the use of natural and safe non-toxic products will be used in services provided. 

    "If you go green, "No longer will there be chemicals absorbed into the skin or breathed in by the person cleaning. Health benefits extend to family members who are no longer breathing in cleaners lingering in the air and sitting on surfaces. Changing to greener methods helps reduce pollution to our waterways and the air and it minimizes your impact on onzone depletion and global climate change with fewer smog-producing chemicals(Weber, 2017)." It provides a healthier and safe environment than that of products with chemicals that most people are unaware of the hazardous side effects it can cause. 

    Like mentioned in the material there are thousands of harmful ingredients in chemical cleaning products and after reading and studying the material provided I will make sure that our services will provide products that are not harmful and dangerous especially now days where there are a lot of great natural and green cleaning products that work just as great if not better without the harmful side effects and pollution. 

    Find A IJCSA Green Cleaning Service Here


    2016. Smith, D. Is Greener Cleaner? Retrieved from 

    2017. Weber,C. Benefits of Green Cleaning. Retrieved from 

  • 11 Jan 2019 4:41 PM | Lisa Lemons

    We've been in the staging and cleaning services for 15 years and I was looking for ways for to stand out from the crowd. There's are a lot of cleaning services in California and trying to stand out can be a challenge. 

    After doing some research I found IJCSA in a google search, immediately, I new we had to become a member. Having the certification of the IJCSA lets our people know we are the experts when it comes to cleaning.

  • 11 Jan 2019 12:18 PM | Lisa Lemons
    California is experiencing a "green" revolution in every way. The state legislators has put California in the fore-front of the green revolution by passing laws to make California the leader of protecting the environment. 

    As a business owner and cleaning company we want to be on the right side of history it is also our responsibility to be part of the "green" revolution.

    Chemical based cleaning products is a billion dollar industry and continues to grow. Take a minute and think about that a billion dollars worth of chemicals and the raw materials it takes to make these products is a danger to our environment and health. These chemicals absorbs into the soil and waterways causing toxins that are dangerous to the planet and humans. Furthermore, the cost of chemical based products cost more per volume.

    When we decided to add cleaning services to our business we began using chemical based products such as Butyl cellosolve and petroleum distillates used in products such as oven cleaners not only are these chemicals very hazardous to the environment they are unhealthy. In my opinion oven cleaners are the most toxic cleaners manufactured for cleaning. 

    Going "green" is one of the best decisions we made not only are "green" products safer for the environment they are also safer for my team. When it comes to costs, green products are actually cheaper than chemical based products due to the fact green products are highly concentrated which means a little can go a long way. 

    Our company have created a combination of several different green and natural products such as a mixture of vinegar and fresh lemon rinds which makes a wonderful oven cleaner and de-grease! It is inexpensive and works very well on stubborn grease and stains without the toxicity. It's often said plant based cleaning products do not clean and sanitize like chemical products, I disagree, with the right combination of green products they can deep clean and sanitize better than any chemical products. 

    Becoming a member of IJCSA and earning the "green" seal of approval certificate will make Exit Stage Right Cleaning stand out above the rest!

    Find Certified Green Cleaning Services Here


  • 10 Jan 2019 4:23 PM | Jacques Geere

    Looking for a professional carpet cleaning company?

    It is easier now, to find a professional carpet cleaning service, by simply visiting the International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association (IJCSA's) Carpet Cleaning DirectoryBy using a IJCSA certified member, you can be rest assured that you will get international standard service at an affordable price. Click on this link to find a carpet and rug cleaner near you.

  • 09 Jan 2019 6:26 PM | FARRALEE OUELLETTE

    Being green cleaning certified will benefit my company and myself by showing my responsibility for caring for the environment.  Using harsh chemicals that are toxic can damage the ecosystem.  There are clearly already more than enough problems with the ecosystem.  For instance in a Human Ecology course I took at University of Maine Augusta, it gives details on just how fragile the ecosystem really is. The slightest damage can cause numerous other problems.

    Using safe cleaning ingredients not only benefits the ecosystem, it benefits other people.  Some people have medical problems that can be exacerbated by certain chemicals.  The choice to use non toxic cleaning ingredients is not only the responsible thing to do, but it is the best thing for the ecosystem.  Using non toxic also protects pets, which people tend to view as family.  Non toxic cleaners do more than protect the ecosystem, they put the harsh chemicals out of business.  

    Utilizing certified green cleaning companies is a smart move for consumers.  Consumers that utilize green cleaning companies are viewed as equally responsible. Certified green cleaning companies utilize cleaning ingredients that are safer for the environment and ecosystem. If more consumers used green cleaning companies, the world would be a better place.  In my opinion safer cleaners equals safer environment.

    Toxic chemicals lead to irritants in the environment.  Irritants cause erosive activity within the environment.  Toxic chemicals will add to the pollution in the environment and create more problems.  If I am certified as a green cleaning company it would create a happier ecosystem.  Animals and people benefit from non toxic cleanings.          

    Find IJCSA Certified Green Cleaning Companies Here                

  • 09 Jan 2019 11:03 AM | Kumasi Rayford

    Thanks to technology, cleaning agents have doubled and increased in the market. However, what most people do not understand is the effect they have on individuals and to the environment as a whole. Most of these products are harmful even though they are supposed to make our houses and offices clean.

    Being exposed to unnatural cleaning products has increased the chances of damage to one's breathing system. Several reports show that many individuals suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease after using bleaching cleaning agents. The disease has a negative impact on an individual as it leaves them with a permanent damage inside the lungs. One of the reports indicates a 32% increase in individuals who suffer from the disease.

    Some of the unnatural products have been known to alter genes thus causing mutation among men. These, in turn, have a negative impact on the development of the general population. For instance, one might end up giving birth to someone disabled thanks to the usage of unnatural products. For example, some of the cleaning agents contain oestradiol which hinders proper development in the male offspring and accelerates puberty among the young females. (Guardian Service indusries inc., 2015)

    Most of the unnatural cleaning products have an impact on the environment. Chemicals released into the atmosphere introduce mild to severe consequences to terrestrial and aquatic animal life. When consumed by the animals, they might die from poisoning or become transmitted to human beings thus increasing the chain of illness. For example, if one consumes plants or animals exposed to dangerous toxins such as sodium hydroxide and chlorine, one might get stomach infections or ulcers as an end result.

    Another major concern about the use of unnatural products is that they end up depleting nonrenewable resources such as oil. Most of the chemicals used are petroleum based thus they will suck out the remaining resources a country has. This in turns creates room for more spending and less saving thus becoming an expensive affair.

    Plastic bottles used in packaging cleaning products are viewed as waste as most of them are disposed of aimlessly after used. Since the waste is not renewable and in most cases not recycled, they contribute to the mounds of solid wastes that are ugly to view or come across. They, therefore, end up causing air pollution. Some of the bottles contain carcinogens which are the leading cause of lung cancers. (Regeneration International, 2018)

    The most common effect of the cleaning products that are not green friendly is corrosion. Most individuals who use unnatural products suffer from skin burns, eye irritation and if ingested, can cause major damage to the throat and esophagus. The toxicity may range from mild to severe depending on the product used by an individual.

    Finally, the usage of toxic substances as cleaning agents is less sustainable in the long run. For example, when one inhales the chemicals or gets burnt by the chemicals during work, he or she may not continue with his or her duties at hand. This, therefore, creates room for an increase of absenteeism cases in the long run thus causing low productivity among individuals and the company at large. Companies like Blueface Cleaning Systems which can be found in the IJCSA Green Cleaning Directory  are championing the use of green environmentally safe products and cleaning methods to prevent the harmful effects of everyday products.

    Guardian Service industries inc. (2015, June). Retrieved from What is green cleaning and what are the environmental impacts.

    Regeneration International. (2018). Retrieved from organic consumers- How toxic are your household supplies?

  • 08 Jan 2019 9:20 AM | Jeaniece Zanosky

    It is important for employees of cleaning companies to learn and understand the dangers that may be present when cleaning. A simple task of clearing out the trash bins or cleaning spills, safety precautions are still important. Blood borne pathogens are microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. 

    Blood borne pathogens are in a person's blood and/ or saliva. It can be transported through the nose and mouth area as well as, any open cuts. Such diseases as Hepatitis B (HBV) & HIV are the main reason why safety is extremely important for anyone working in an environment likely to be exposed to such diseases in fluid. 

    Employees can take simple steps to ensure safety and prevent exposure. One must always think any fluid found is contaminated. Never assume, as one may never know. As long as you have the proper protective items you will be able to manage safely with no worries. Along with protecting ones'self we also have to fully disinfect the affected area plus ,any equipment used in the clean up. This will help prevent spreading any diseases.  

  • 07 Jan 2019 5:59 PM | Corey Nolen

    When finding a green cleaning service it’s always good to do the research. The cleaning industry is starting to boom with green cleaning services, now more than ever. More and more companies their own cleaning solution that may not be up to par with your health and green cleaning standard. With IJCSA our cleaning service go through a highly informative and innovative green cleaning certification program, that insures the top quality in services.

    Remember, green cleaning refers to using cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients and procedures which are designed to preserve human health and environmental quality. Green cleaning techniques and products avoid the use of products which contain toxic chemicals, some of which emit volatile organic compounds causing respiratory, dermatological and other conditions. IJCSA promotes cleaner business by recognizing and  meeting the growing industry demand for eco-friendly  and sustainable products.

    One of the major benefits to this kind of business is that conventional cleaning solutions can produce noxious fumes, especially when combined with fumes from other chemical-based cleansers.  This leads to chronic health conditions for workers in conventional cleaning services and potentially for the occupants of the home.  Thus, it is healthier for you and your workers, and a major satisfactory point for your business. Find A IJCSA Certified Green Cleaning Service Here:

  • 07 Jan 2019 1:15 PM | RAVEN SCOTT

    It is very important that all employees and staff understand bloodborne pathogens.  In order to protect themselves from exposure to infectious blood and body fluids they must take universal precautions while on the job. 

    There are more than 600,000 needlestick injuries a year.  Exposure incidents also include splashes and contact with mucous membrane.   

    All employees and staff must know what to do if stuck by a needle.  As well as, what to do if potentially infectious fluids gets in the eyes, nose, mouth or broken skin.

    More Info On Bloodborne Pathogens Certification Here

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