Carol Westinghouse, President and Programs Manager, Informed Green Solutions, has broad experience in environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) based on her extensive knowledge of the effects of toxic chemicals on human health. Her interest in the subject of indoor air quality (IAQ) was sparked when her son entered a new school building as a kindergarten student and suffered apparent health effects from the chemicals emitted by the products used. As a result Ms. Westinghouse joined a Vermont legislative sub-committee to investigate indoor air quality in schools whose work resulted in the establishment of the Envision program, Vermont’s healthy schools initiative.
Ms. Westinghouse’s efforts since that time to improve indoor air quality have resulted in a reduction of toxic chemicals used in cleaning by an estimated 280,000 pounds annually.
Her work has directly affected over 200,000 students and the teachers, administrators, other school staff and custodians in those buildings. Indirectly, thousands of other children have been affected through the groundwork laid by her technical assistance program and the trainees who expanded the reach of the program and were instrumental in passing green cleaning legislation in their States.
During the 1990s, Carol worked as a health and safety consultant to industrial facilities, administering OSHA programs, coordinating health and safety committees and assisting them in reducing toxic chemicals in their manufacturing processes. She developed an environmentally preferable purchasing guide for sensitive populations and consulted on building healthy homes. From 2004 to 2009 she developed and managed the Cleaning for Health program for INFORM, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental education. When INFORM phased out its green cleaning program, Ms. Westinghouse saw the need to continue its work by expanding avenues to educate institutions and the general public about cleaning products and practices and their effects on indoor air quality and health. She established Informed Green Solutions in 2009 and continues its work today.