This study is designed to investigate the use and impact of environmentally preferably cleaning products (EPPs) and disinfectants among custodians, to assess their health effects, and to implement effective strategies to prevent exposures and reduce potential health risks, and evaluate impacts. In addition, the characterization of phthalates as a specific chemical species of concern may help to provide a quantitative rationale for exposure reduction to these target constituencies and assist with transitions to EPPs. The overall proposal takes an iterative approach whereby the union community and researchers jointly address health and safety concerns, participate in measuring exposures and health effects, and review data as it is generated.
Specific Aims and Objectives: 1. To identify barriers and incentives for implementing green cleaning programs. 2. To identify language and cultural barriers for janitors that may inhibit implementation or use of green-cleaning products. 3. To provide an actual-use characterization of exposures to cleaning products among janitorial workers. 4. To differentiate and compare the exposures to green-cleaning and prior/ traditional cleaning product use. 5. To identify disorders or adverse health events from the use of cleaning products, with the objective of assessing health impacts of green cleaning products. 6. To develop an intervention to improve the acceptance of green cleaning programs, to ensure proper use of green cleaners and disinfectants, and to standardize the adoption of """"""""green cleaning"""""""" products among custodians working at the various state institutions.

Public Health Relevance

This study will help in understanding (1) incentives and obstacles to adoption of """"""""Green Cleaning"""""""" programs by custodians, (2) describe exposure patterns of green cleaning compared to traditional cleaning, (3) monitor body burden of chemicals (phthalates) that can disrupt the hormone system, (4) identify asthma and dermatitis among custodians, and (5) develop a best practices report and training curriculum to increase the proper use of safer alternatives to cleaning chemicals.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1-SET-V (01))
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Frederick, Linda J
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University of Connecticut
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Cavallari, Jennifer M; Ahuja, Manik; Dugan, Alicia G et al. (2016) Differences in the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms among female and male custodians. Am J Ind Med 59:841-52
Garza, Jennifer L; Cavallari, Jennifer M; Wakai, Sara et al. (2015) Traditional and environmentally preferable cleaning product exposure and health symptoms in custodians. Am J Ind Med 58:988-95
Cavallari, Jennifer M; Simcox, Nancy J; Wakai, Sara et al. (2015) Characterization of Urinary Phthalate Metabolites Among Custodians. Ann Occup Hyg 59:982-99
Chen, Mei; Tao, Lin; Collins, Erin M et al. (2012) Simultaneous determination of multiple phthalate metabolites and bisphenol-A in human urine by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 904:73-80
Simcox, Nancy; Wakai, Sara; Welsh, Loyola et al. (2012) Transitioning from traditional to green cleaners: an analysis of custodian and manager focus groups. New Solut 22:449-71