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Jun 13
BPHC Launches Campaign to Increase Number of Local Businesses Committed to Reduce Chemical Exposure
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The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) today announced the launch of the "We Are Green & Clean" campaign. Green & Clean businesses work to reduce occupational and environmental health exposures in auto shops, nail salons, and hair salons. The campaign, funded through the Aetna Foundation's Cultivating Healthy Communities program, aims to increase the number of local businesses participating in the program and encourage customers to choose participating shops for their services.
 
"Expanding the reach of our Green & Clean business efforts will ultimately improve the health of employees, customers, and neighbors," said BPHC Executive Director, Monica Valdes Lupi, JD, MPH. "We look forward to continuing to work with Boston's small businesses to reduce occupational and environmental health hazards in our neighborhoods."
 
"The Aetna Foundation is committed to addressing the social determinants of health in order to reduce health disparities," said Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation and vice president of Community Health for Aetna, Inc. "By identifying community-specific challenges and unique ways to combat them, this year's grantees are a shining example of organizations who strive to make a measurable and positive local health impact. We are honored to contribute towards the great work they are doing in pursuit of health equity."
 
There are approximately 500 automotive shops, 200 nail salons, and 100 hair salons that employ over 5,000 people in the City of Boston. The workers, clients, and neighbors associated with these shops are in danger of being exposed to carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, sensitizers for occupational asthma, solvents that can cause neurological damage, and caustic chemicals if businesses don't prioritize using clean products that limit exposure.
 
"I'm proud to be Green & Clean," said Kulwinder Kaur of Vibrant Beauty Salon, a shop participating in the campaign. "Our customers shouldn't have to choose between great nails and a clean and healthy environment."
 
Green & Clean program staff provide technical assistance and health and safety trainings to businesses, helping them to adopt strategies such as using products that contain fewer hazardous chemicals. Auto shops, nail salons, and hair salons are evaluated each year on a set of standards and those that do more than meet the regulatory requirements are recognized with Green & Clean, honoring their dedication to the health and safety of workers, customers, and the environment.
 
Green & Clean is part of BPHC's Safe Shops Program which launched 13 years ago to serve auto shops, and later expanded to serve nail salons and hair salons. The Safe Shops Program provides technical assistance and training to small businesses to assist them in complying with regulatory requirements and adopt safer work practices. For more information, please visit www.bphc.org/safeshops.

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