University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences

Sustainable cleaning practices are an essential part of sustainable building. Traditional cleaning products present a variety of human health and ecological concerns. They may contribute to poor indoor air quality and contain chemicals that cause cancer, reproductive disorders, respiratory ailments (including occupational asthma), eye and skin irritation, central nervous system impairment and other human health effects.

Some of these products contain persistent bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals (PBTs), are classified as hazardous waste, and/or otherwise contribute to environmental pollution during their manufacture, transport, use and/or disposal. In health care settings, continuous 24/7 building occupancy leads to the requirement for cleaning while the building is occupied.

Each year, U.S. commercial and institutional users consume 4.5 billion pounds of janitorial paper and 35 billion plastic trash liners. Paper products with high recycled content reduce sulfur and greenhouse gas emissions during manufacture, conserve virgin forest resources and contribute to healthier forest ecosystems. Nontoxic and least-toxic cleaning products and materials exist for general cleaning purposes in a health care facility.

For additional information or questions please contact Eddie Johnson at 773-702-1580.

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Eddie Johnson Manager Environmental Services


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Our Operations teams ensure the safety, sustainability and efficiency of all our hospitals and facilities that we manage. Click on the links below to request a service or to learn more about Facilities Planning, Design and Construction.