NYMPP: Section 5- Facility Management
What's New? How to use this site Acronyms Acknowledgements Contact Us
Disclaimer View a slide show Related links Site Map Feedback
Home > Section 5 > Facility Cleaning


New York Sea Grant's
Marina Pollution Prevention Web Site

Section 5:
Facility Management
- Facility Cleaning

Potential Environmental Impacts

Many common cleaning products contain hazardous chemicals that with repeated or excessive contact may lead to lung problems, brain and nerve damage, cancer and even death. Hazardous chemicals can often be found in drain cleaners, floor-care products, window sprays, and bathroom cleaners. Those labeled "DANGER" or "POISON" are typically most hazardous. Others may be labeled "CAUTION" or "WARNING" because they are skin or eye irritants. Less hazardous alternatives for common cleaning products are often labeled "non toxic."

Best Management Practices

Use cleaning products which may have less of an impact on the environment because they are less toxic and contain lower concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ozone depleting chemicals (ODCs), and/or carcinogens.

Read product labels. Avoid cleaning products with:

Depending on the cleaning job, always try cleaning with water and a coarse cloth first. Clean more often with fresh water only. If you must use a cleaner, use the product sparingly.

Consider non-toxic alternatives for cleaning products. Even non-toxic substances can cause temporary harm to the environment and should therefore be used sparingly. Some non-toxic alternatives to typical cleaning products are:

Regulatory Issues:

There are no legal requirements to use environmentally preferable products. Note that waste cleaning products must be disposed of in accordance with the hazardous waste disposal requirement. To determine if waste cleaning products are hazardous, the generator must either have waste materials tested or utilize reliable "knowledge of process" information for the waste (if available) [40 CFR 262.11, click here]. Such information could include information from product labels, testing by haulers, or studies by industry trade groups. For more information on New York hazardous waste testing requirements, click here. If hazardous, cleaning product waste must be managed in accordance with hazardous waste storage and handling requirements [40 CFR 262.11, click here] For more information on New York's Hazardous Waste Regulations and storage requirements, click here.