A greener clean

- June 27, 2008

Ray Bundy
Ray Bundy uses Avmor's EcoPure glass and surface cleaner to clean glass doors in the Henry Hicks Building. (Nick Pearce Photo)

Dalhousie University’s Facilties Management is now using green cleaning products to make its campuses spick, span and sparkle.

Dalhousie custodians are now using just three environmentally safe, biodegradable products manufactured by the Canadian company Avmor Ltd. They replace more than 40 traditional cleaning products, many containing harmful chemicals such as phosphates, alkylphenol ethoxylates, ammonia and heavy metals.

The products, an all-purpose cleaner, a disinfectant and a degreaser, have been third-party approved with Canada’s Environmental Choice logo (three stylized doves in a maple leaf) and the Green Seal (a checkmark over a green circle) in the U.S. Products are rigorously tested to ensure they meet strict environmental standards before they can be certified.

“The products were chosen on the basis of contents over price,” says Mike Murphy, manager of environmental services, Facilities Management, adding his department has been testing green products over the past 10 years. “But they actually cost less. They have a higher dilution rate and last much longer.”

In use since the beginning of the year, the products are safer to handle—they’re better for the environmental and the health of janitorial staff. They’re diluted in cold water, meaning there’s no misting of chemicals. Exposure to the unavoidable inhalation of fumes has been eliminated.  Reduced exposure to harmful gases and toxic solvents results in improved air quality. The fragrance-free products also carry a reduced risk of skin irritations, eye injuries and asthma aggravation.

“They do well, they’re very good products,” says Gary Gaudet, custodial services. “I would say most of our people like the change.”

Facilities Management is also working with Avmor to develop floor waxes and paint strippers which can meet environmental standards.

Dalhousie custodians clean more than 200,000 square metres of space used by 16,000 students and 3,000 employees annually.

SEE: http://fm.dal.ca/documents/pdf/elevator_ads/DalGoesGreen.pdf


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