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Jul 26
What is the Green & Clean Program? Why Does It Exist?

​The Boston Public Health Commission's Green & Clean business recognition program recognizes businesses that are working hard to promote the health of their employees, their communities, and the environment. These nail salon and auto repair/body shop businesses go above and beyond simply complying with regulations to specifically choose products and employ methods that reduce chemical usage, conserve energy and natural resources, and prevent environmental pollution.   Green & Clean businesses are taking steps to reduce their use (and thus reduce worker and customer exposure) of common industry chemicals that research has linked to health effects including:

  • Eye and skin damage
  • Headaches
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Respiratory irritation and effects such as asthma
  • Certain cancers
  • Reproductive effects
  • Heart disease
Green and Clean.jpg

To qualify, every Green & Clean business goes through a two-step process.  First, each year the business owner and employees must all take part in a training from the Environmental Health Office on Green & Clean practices and environmental health. Then an outreach worker completes a walkthrough assessment at the business to determine if the business has integrated enough best practices or alternative products to qualify for recognition.   Some of the changes Green & Clean advocates include:

  • Measures to conserve energy or water (LED light bulbs, programmable thermostats, automatic water shutoff on sinks)
  • Reducing use of chemical solvents by replacing them with water-based alternatives
  • Eliminating the use of chemical fragrances (air fresheners, scented cleaning products, etc.)
  • Recycling of waste products from paper and plastic to used engine oil
  • Replacing products with less toxic alternatives like lead-free wheel weights or "three free" nail polishes

Making these changes can be challenging as using new products requires upfront costs and learning about new methods.  However, these businesses are taking the extra time and effort to make healthier choices to benefit their workers, customers, and neighbors. With recognition, businesses receive a small window sign like the one above to display in their window or door, and they are also listed on the Green & Clean website. Look for the Green & Clean logo when you are choosing a nail salon or auto shop in Boston! To learn more, visit the Green & Clean website at www.bphc.org/greenandclean or call the Environmental Health Office at 617-534-5965.


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Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: info@bphc.org