The Recent Removal of Clorox Wipes
Recently, the Petaluma City Schools (PCS) District Office made the decision to stop allowing Clorox wipes in schools, creating complications with keeping classrooms clean and germ-free. Previously, Clorox and other cleaning wipes were used to keep desks and other furniture clean. With the number of students that use the school furniture, bacteria and other remnants can be left behind, putting teachers and students at risk of getting sick.
“We have other cleaning supplies but they took the Clorox wipes and the liquid we use. When it comes to the science wing, it's difficult to clean,” said Mario Medeiros, Head Custodian of Petaluma High School. Due to recent staff shortages, the PHS maintenance department has had a hard enough time completing all of their tasks without the missing wipes.
“There are federal and state specifications about what cleaning chemicals can be used in schools as well as training for those who use chemicals in schools. Clorox wipes fall into that category,” said Justin Mori, the Petaluma High principal.
According to the Healthy Schools Network, “wipes contain toxic chemicals that can cause immediate acute side effects such as skin and eye irritation, as well as contribute to chronic and long-term conditions. Disinfecting wipes contain active ingredients that have been found to cause: Asthma, Cancer and Skin sensitization.” For these reasons, the wipes have been removed.
Students often come to school sick, as making up school work can be difficult and stressful. If these students were to contaminate the desk they were sitting at, illness can be passed onto the next student who sits there.
Not only are students at risk of getting sick, but the chemicals used in classes pose their own risks as well. In classes such as biology and chemistry, chemicals are often used for experiments. These chemicals can no longer be cleaned by Clorox wipes, and regular paper towels may not remove the dangers posed by these compounds.
Clorox wipes used to be easily accessible for teachers and students. They were held in classrooms, so if an incident occurred on the school furniture, teachers would be able to clean it immediately to prevent risk. Without the use of Clorox wipes in schools, many students and staff believe problems will develop and illnesses will spread.