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New Solut. 2012;22(4):449-71. doi: 10.2190/NS.22.4.e.

Transitioning from traditional to green cleaners: an analysis of custodian and manager focus groups.

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Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, USA.


Custodians represent one of the largest occupational groups using cleaning agents, and yet their voices are infrequently heard in relation to the introduction of "green" cleaners and the laws regarding environmentally preferable products (EPP). This study reflects worker voices on use and effectiveness of chemicals, as well as incentives and obstacles for green cleaning programs. Sixty-four custodians and staff participated in 10 focus groups. Data were entered into Atlas Ti and the constant comparative method of qualitative data analysis was used to identify themes. Themes included satisfaction in a "well-done" job, more effort required for job, lack of involvement in EPP selection process, EPP's ease of use for workers with English as a Second Language (ESL), misuse of disinfectants, health complaints, and need for training. This study shows that custodians have a voice, and that improved communication and feedback among all the stakeholders are needed to make the transition to green cleaning more effective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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