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Cleaning as bad for women as 20-a-day habit 16/02/2018

A study conducted by scientists at the University of Bergen has demonstrated that cleaning can be as bad for you as smoking.

The study looked at over 6,000 men and women, their cleaning habits and preferred cleaning products. It found a clear correlation between women who cleaned and respiratory illness, though not for men.

Taking place over the course of twenty years, the study asked participants whether they cleaned their own house, or whether they worked as professional cleaners. it also investigated how often participants used liquid cleaning products and sprays.

The consequences were the same whether the women used sprays or liquids, which surprised the scientists, who had expected sprays to be significantly more harmful. 

The average age of participants was 34 when they enrolled over twenty years ago. In the study, 1,512 men never cleaned the house, compared to just 197 women. Of those who cleaned at home, there were 1,363 women and 2,808 women. Professional cleaners comprised 57 men and 293 women.

The researchers found that 12.3 per cent of women who cleaned at home and 13.7 per cent of women who cleaned at home developed asthma, compared to 9.6 percent for women who did not clean.

The scientists behind that study commented that: "Women cleaning at home or working as occupational cleaners had accelerated decline in lung function, suggesting that exposures related to cleaning activities may constitute a risk to long-term respiratory health."


 

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Premier Inn caught out by undercover investigation 13/02/2018

Cleaning staff at Premier Inn have been filmed using one dirty towel to clean sinks, baths and toilets.

In the latest episode of Channel 4 programme Dispatches, employees were also shown to be working several extra hours each to day to meet arbitrary cleaning targets. 

The programme's undercover reporter, filming at Premier Inn London Bridge, located on Borough High Street, explained she was required to clean three rooms per hour, regardless of how large or how dirty each room was. 

Tigerlily, the production company behind Dispatches, also claimed that staff, supplied by international service provider ISS, were expected sign a document saying that they had taken a half an hour break, even if they had been unable to do so due to the high volume of work.

Both Premier Inn, the largest hotel brand in the UK with over 780 properties, and ISS have announced that they will begin investigations into the accusations. 

Unite national officer Rhys McCarthy commented: “Channel 4’s Dispatches has lifted the lid on Premier Inn’s exploitative work practices, with many of its findings echoing what we have been told by the hotel chain’s workers.

“The work until you drop culture, unremitting pressure on workers to hit unrealistic productivity targets, combined with staff not being paid for all the hours worked, are work practices you’d expect to find in a sweat shop not a leading hotel chain.

“Revelations such as these can cause severe reputational damage. This is at odds with Premier Inn’s brand image as a family friendly hotel chain. Customers will expect better.”

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Businessman attacks Huddersfield council over cleaning 12/02/2018

A Huddersfield businessman has launched a scathing attack on a local councillor after he publicly complained about bottled water being used at Kirklees Council meetings. 

Charles Jones, of Jones Steel Ltd has said that local politicians should be focusing on the "horrendous waste tip" in the centre of Huddersfield instead of bottled water.

Green Party councillor Andrew Cooper recently hit headlines by filling a jug with town hall tap water rather than making use of bottled water which he claimed made more environmental and financial sense. 

In the wake of this Mr Jones stated: “This councillor and his two colleagues are responsible for the horrendous waste tip outside our office in Byram Court, which he makes us put up with every single working day of our lives. It is filthy and stinks – just a few yards from the multi-million St George’s Square.”

Mr Charles told local paper, the Huddersfield Examiner, that "there is a long-term solution and that is for the council to lock the gates on both sides into the courtyard and let the relevant shop owners have a key so the courtyard would be kept clean and safe.

“Instead, the council have left the gates open at one side. People come in and ‘shoot up’ or scavenge through the bins whenever they want.

“The councillors never ever come round to have a look. In my view, the councillors in Kirklees have the responsibility, but they don’t want to account for themselves. It’s just a bad joke.”

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Cleaning your office after a renovation 08/02/2018

One of the most important parts of an office renovation is getting your working environment back to its comfortable, professional feel which makes it a great place for both those that work there and any clients who may visit.

This means getting rid of paint smells, finding the right decor and getting back to business as soon as possible. In this article the experts at Cleanipedia, an online resource for housekeeping and cleaning tips, explain how to get your office back to normal after that all important refresh.

Declutter

Having an office renovation is a great time to have a clear out. Organise your paperwork and get rid of any unnecessary items around the office. If it doesn’t have a home it probably doesn’t need to be in your office in the first place!

Be Sure Not to Miss Anything

A soft rag with a small amount of disinfectant is a great way to clean your electronics. Also, keyboard keys, vents and fans are dust traps so making sure you use a duster to clean them out after an office renovation.

Purchase Some Air Freshener

After having a renovation in your office space there is bound to leave some less than pleasant smells hanging about the place. Knowing how to get rid of paint smell and other lingering smells is not as hard as you might think. Simply opening a few windows and bringing in some air freshener from sprays to reed diffusers will make all the difference.

Invest in Some New Furniture

A fresh, new environment to work in deserves some brand new furniture to boot. Bringing in some light wooden furniture and open storage is a great way to give your newly renovated office a new lease of life and fresh feel to it.

Disinfect the Bathrooms

Somewhere that everyone is bound to end up at some point during the time that they spend in your office is the toilet, after all everyone needs to answer nature’s call at some point. When they do, having clean, fresh bathrooms makes it a much nicer experience!

Consider Hiring a Professional Cleaner

As much fun as cleaning around the office yourself can be, it can be quite time consuming. Sometimes the best thing is to call in a professional cleaner, and get them to clean out all the nooks and crannies when the renovations are over.

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Yorkshire man wages war on fly-tipping 06/02/2018

One man in Ravensthorpe, West Yorkshire, is tackling the fly-tipping epidemic in his neighbourhood.

Community-minded Darren Shaw is filling four one-tonne builders' bags every week with rubbish that he has collected from the hedges and footpaths close to his home.

Shaw, a father-of-three who works as a handyman, spends part of every day collecting litter, debris and rubbish locals leave strewn across the area. 

But there’s some jobs too big even for Shaw to tackle. Alongside the more mundane, everyday litter he deals with, he has recently come across shopping trolleys, children’s beds, builders’ rubble, kitchen units and couches that have been abandoned nearby.

He said he had reported the litter problem to Kirklees Council on more than one occasion, but the council have done nothing to address the problem. Despite there being a potential £2,500 for littering in Kirklees, the problem isn't getting any better.

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New app aims to make cleaning fun 05/02/2018

A new mobile phone app is aiming to get people to clean up their streets.

Litterati is an app for Android and iOS devices, looking to persuade more people to keep their own streets clean.

The app was developed by 46-year-old Jeff Kirschner, when his daughter spotted discarded cat litter in a creek. Kirschner was reminded of the huge difference he and friends made at a summer camp when each of them picked up just five pieces of litter. 

Using Litterati, users take photos of the litter they pick up and keep a record of how much they are doing. It has reportedly inspired the collection of over 1 million pieces of litter and is now receiving lots of support from crowd-funding and even the US government. Kirschner has also received a $225,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. 

The money raised will be used to develop maps to show litter hotspots and data analysis so people can categorise the litter they collect. 

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Qatar to jail litterers 01/02/2018

Strict new hygiene laws have taken effect in Qatar.

As of Thursday, February 1st, litterers in Qatar will face fines of up to QR10,000 (In the region of £2,000) and possible jail time.

The new law, which was first announced by the Emir of the gulf nation in October of last year, prohibits dumping, abandoning and waste disposal in all public places. The owners and occupants of buildings must maintain the cleanliness of their yards, corridors, rooftops, facades, parking spaces and adjacent sidewalks.

The government of the country is engaged in a major promotional campaign to raise awareness of the new law. This will involve adverts placed in public places and an extensive social media campaign. 

The law is part of a larger plan called "Qatar National Vision 2030", launched in 2008 as part of a plan to transform Qatar into "an advanced society capable of achieving sustainable development."

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Rats invade Paris 31/01/2018

A mass build-up of rats in the French capital has sparked a debate over cleanliness.

In the wake of severe flooding along the banks of the river Seine, Paris has been overwhelmed by rats. 

Rubbish collectors in the city have taken video of swarms of rats congregating in rubbish bins, aiming to prove that the rodents pose an active threat to collectors' safety. 

Mao Peninou, deputy mayor in charge of city cleanliness, said the capital was aware of the fact that “rats can increasingly be seen in public areas”. and that “all units concerned are tackling the problem head on." 

Experts estimate that there are now twice as many rats as people in Paris, of which more than half are immune to poison. They also claim that the rodents carried more parasites than previously thought, including seven that are a threat to humans. 

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Estonia aiming to clean up the world 29/01/2018

An Estonian cleaning initiative is attempting to bring together people in 150 countries for a worldwide clean-up on 15th September.

Estonian cleaning movement, Let's Do It!, intends to initiate an international clean-up in September of this year. 

In 2008 50,000 people signed up to clean the whole of Estonia in a single day. Since then the group has gone global and is now seeking to unite an extensive network of NGOs, civic groups, institutions and individual volunteers across 150 countries for a global clean-up day.

In anticipation of the global clean-up day, the Let’s Do It! movement organised the Clean World Conference, which brought civic leaders from 90 countries to the Estonian capital, Tallinn, earlier this month. According to Eva Truuverk from the Let’s Do It Foundation, 116 countries have so far confirmed their participation on the World Cleanup Day in September.

The main aim is to tackle the four billion tonnes of waste produced annually in the world. Of this, 1.6 billion tonnes is household refuse. With roughly half the global population having no access to recycling facilities this rubbish simply lingers. The plan for the worldwide clean-up day is to start in Japan in the morning and to finish the day in Hawaii, having made a significant difference to these statistics. 

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British Airways attacked for lack of cleanliness 26/01/2018

A leading London gallery owner has unleashed a barrage of criticism at BA's cleaning standards.

A leading London gallery owner has publicly attacked British Airways. Michael Hoppen, owner of the Michael Hoppen Gallery in Chelsea, has announced that he now uses other long-haul carriers because of the filthy state of BA's planes. 

Talking to the Times newspaper Hoppen said the carrier's aircraft contained dirty tables, sticky seats and blankets covered in stains.

Hoppen's claims came in the wake of news that a BA flight to Ghana was grounded after the flight crew refused to fly following an outbreak of bed bugs. 

In a statement British Airways said: "We place huge importance on the cleanliness of our aircraft and wherever they are in the world they are cleaned after every flight. We have recently introduced a team of our own managers to work alongside our cleaners at Heathrow to carry out increased inspections."

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