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The health care industry is becoming increasingly concerned with minimizing the risks of health issues associated with chemical pollutants, including cleaning products and pesticides. At the same time, health care providers need cleaners and pest control programs that work. Many hospitals are turning toward a method of cleaning known as Green Cleaning and pest control called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). These constitute environmentally responsible approaches to cleaning and pest management that applies comprehensive knowledge of infection control, chemicals, pest biology and their interactions with the environment.

Related Organizations

Beyond Pesticides

Formerly National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides. Works with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides.

Health Care Without Harm

Working with hospitals to choose safer cleaning products and less toxic disinfection methods, and to adopt integrated pest management and fragrance-free policies that improve indoor air quality and promote health.

The IPM Institute of North America

An independent non-profit organization formed in 1998 to foster recognition and rewards in the marketplace for goods and service providers who practice Integrated Pest Management.

Pesticide Action Network

Works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As a global campaign, PAN links local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens’ action network.

Practice Greenhealth

Fully supports “green cleaning” as an integral part of efficient, effective, and environmentally sustainable operations in health care facilities.


Cleaning in Healthcare Facilities: Reducing human health effects and environmental impacts (2009)

cleaningHealth Care Research Initiative, by Pia Markkanen, ScD, Margaret Quinn ScD, Catherine Galligan, MSc, Anila Bello, ScD. 40 pp. Developed by the research team at the Sustainable Hospitals Project, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, this paper summarizes the main health and environmental impacts related to conventional surface cleaning, describes a systems approach for designing and implementing healthier and environmentally friendlier cleaning strategies for the healthcare sector, and indicates areas where future research and policy initiatives are needed.

Disinfectant Overkill: How Too Clean May Be Hazardous to Our Health (2009)

disinfectant28 pp. Alexandra Scranton, Women’s Voices for the Earth. This recent report outlines the health impacts associated with common antimicrobial chemicals and safer alternatives.

Healthy Hospitals: Controlling Pests without Harmful Pesticides (2003)

62 pp. This joint report with HCWH and Beyond Pesticides details the results of a survey of hospital pesticide use and provides guidance on safer pest management practices.

Infection Control Today, May 31, 2007

Healthcare Facilities Hesitantly Embrace Green Cleaning Principles and Products, by Michelle Beaver.

Integrated Pest Management for Schools: A How-to Manual (1997–2008)

ipmschoolsUS EPA. This comprehensive manual includes detailed chapters on particular pest issues, as well as how-to develop policies, action plans, and monitoring systems.

Ten-Step Guide to Green Cleaning (2006)

12 pp. Hospitals for a Healthy Environment. This guide recommends that facilities engage in green cleaning by first addressing resource-intensive practices and toxic or irritating chemicals that can clearly be replaced by preferable alternatives without impacting infection transmission.

© 2019 Green Guide for Health Care