Toxic Cleaners ALERT
UPdate Fall 1999

     The Halifax Regional School Board recently decided to use an all-purpose
cleaner containing an Endocrine Disruptor (APEO), an unknown dye, and an unknown Nitrogen-bearing material.  This decision has has parents with concerns about the environment and health in schools upset.  CASLE members chose to remove themselves from the board's Product Evaluation Committee due to serious
flaws in committee procedures and in the selection process, so that CASLE
would not be seen as approving of any product chosen from such a process.
     This pilot project was to choose a less-toxic, economic and efficient all-purpose cleaner for use in the entire Halifax Region.  CASLE is very concerned because there were at least three other effective, less toxic and cost-effective products in the competition.  Several major international cleaner manufacturers have voluntarily removed APEOs - chemicals which mimic, replace or disrupt communication between hormones of humans and other living things - from their products, and at least two other school boards in Nova Scotia already ban such materials.  It is estimated that over a three year period this decision could result in 3.5 tons of pure APEO entering the waters of the Halifax Region.

     CASLE has been assured that the newly hired Director of Operations will be
putting a fair and well run tender process in place for the future.  That much is good, but at time of writing, CASLE is continuing to try to have the all-purpose cleaner decision changed. A less toxic alternative called Vision is available at principals' special request.