June 14, 2018
The Honorable Bob Wieckowski
Chair, Senate Environmental Quality Committee
State Capitol, Room 2205
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 2570 (Nazarian) Clean and Healthy Schools
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Chair Wiechowski,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, strongly supports AB 2570 (Nazarian) to require schools to use environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products.
Exposure to toxic substances found in cleaning products used in schools can be a source of indoor air pollution that contributes to asthma for children, staff, and workers and can also be harmful to the environment. Many ingredients in common cleaning products are associated with skin and eye irritation, hypersensitivity to allergens, accidental poisoning, chemical burns, and asthma. Children’s exposure to air pollution is of special concern because their immune systems and lungs are not fully developed.
In California, 13.7% of children under age 18 had lifetime asthma and 9.4% had current asthma. School-aged children (5-17) have higher incidence of asthma than other age groups. By race/ethnicity, the groups with the highest asthma prevalence are Blacks, American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN), Puerto Ricans, Filipinos, and Japanese.1 Approximately 129,000 children with current asthma in California miss school or daycare because of asthma. This translates to 1.2 million days of school/day care missed per year.2
Using safer cleaning products can reduce exposure to chemicals that can cause or worsen asthma. Schools that have changed to safer and healthier products have saved money and have reduced absenteeism among staff and students.3 AB 2570 (Nazarian) would require schools to purchase environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products to reduce effects on human health and the environment at little or no cost increase.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide support proposed legislation AB 2570 (Nazarian) and urge an AYE vote. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Members of Senate Environmental Quality Committee
The Honorable Adrin Nazarian, Author
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne