Workers who clean buildings, schools, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and factories use a variety of cleaning chemicals that can pose health risks. Health effects from chemicals in cleaning products can range from skin rashes and burns to eye, nose and throat irritation, to cough and asthma. Many employers are switching to green cleaning products because they are thought to be less hazardous to workers and the environment.
A new OSHA-NIOSH Infosheet, "Protecting Workers Who Use Cleaning Chemicals," (PDF*) provides employers with guidance on choosing safer cleaning products, safe work practices, worker training and better cleaning methods. The accompanying poster, "Protect Yourself: Cleaning Chemicals and Your Health," (PDF*) informs workers of the hazards of cleaning chemicals, symptoms and employer responsibilities. In addition to English, the poster is available (in PDF* format) in Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog.