Cleaning services

Cleaning products quite often may contain hazardous components such as acids or alkalines, disinfectant compounds, aggressive preservatives and fragrances.

NonHazCity assessed the potential of hazardous substance reduction at cleaning services by working directly with several companies. Overall, the hazardous substance reduction potential in the cleaning sector is considerable, although at a single business it might look marginal:

In 2006, the cleaning sector in the EU employed approximately 3.6 million workers contracted in 129 000 companies. Cleaning employees may be exposed to a broad range of hazardous substances in cleaning products and by contact with polluted dust, dirt and indoor air at the premises. Some substances in cleaning agents may also cause health problems to people who visit or work in the facilities where they are used. This includes, e.g., allergenic fragrances. Other substances can be detrimental to the aquatic environment. In Sweden, for example, the estimated amount of cleaning products used is 50 000 tons per year – even though hazardous ingredients may only be present at a low percentage this would account for a considerable emission of hazardous substances, primarily to the aquatic environment.

Read more title publication O4.5.