ICS Magazine

How Effective Are ‘Green' Cleaners?

October 2, 2009

WESTERVILLE, OH-To promote cleaning products that are both green and effective, the International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA) and the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) have launched a program to test and validate high performance products.

The fee-based program will test soil removal efficacy of hard-surface cleaning products-both those certified as green by third-party organizations such as Green Seal, EcoLogo, and EcoForm, as well as products with green attributes-and recognize products that perform well in standard and customized cleaning tests.

“While it is accepted that lower-toxicity, environmentally-preferable or green cleaning products are better for human health and global ecosystems, the question remains: Do such products clean well when compared to conventional or even other green products?” says Beth Risinger, CEO and Executive Director of IEHA.

Products accepted into the program will be tested using a variety of scientific methods and devices producing a detailed analysis of product performance. Manufacturers can use this information to improve their formulations as well as promote their products.

“For institutions and consumers, the value we provide is unbiased performance testing to enable product selection based on objective data rather than on anecdotal information,” says Jason Marshall, laboratory director of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at UMass Lowell. “For vendors, products that are effective cleaners will have a clear scientific basis for associated marketing claims.”

Manufacturers of cleaning products that qualify after testing will be entitled to display the IEHA "High Performance Cleaning Product" designation and logo.

“The logo will mainly serve as a way for purchasers to determine at a glance those products that clean well, but it also may be used by manufacturers for marketing purposes with certain restrictions,” says Risinger. “This is really about performance, not marketing, but products that are validated in this program have a powerful marketing tool at their disposal.”

IEHA and TURI are now accepting applications from manufacturers who wish to have their products evaluated.

For more information on test procedures, performance benchmarks, or to apply for testing, contact Allen P. Rathey, President, InstructionLink/JanTrain, Inc. at (208) 938-3137 or (208) 724-1508 (mobile), arathey@jantrain.com.