On March 4, 2015 the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) unveiled a new Safer Choice label/logo, which makes it easier to find household cleaners and other home products that are safer, more environmentally friendly—and still get the job done!
Finding cleaning and other products that are safer for you, your family, and the environment should be easy. Products with the Safer Choice label help consumers and commercial buyers identify and select products with safer chemical ingredients, without sacrificing quality or performance.
Safer Choice labels can be found on laundry products, all-purpose cleaners, car care products, dishwashing products, tub and tile products as well as floor care products. Some of these products will also carry a “Fragrance-free” notation.
The Safer Choice standard, formerly known as DfE’s – Standard for Safer Products (or the “DfE Standard”) identifies that the products and their ingredients met the Safer Choice label/logo requirement.
Safer Choice used the technical expertise of its workgroup (EPA scientists, formulators and even environmentalists to identify ingredients with the lowest hazard profile). While many of us take cleaning products for granted most are a highly scientific formula of ingredients, each with its distinct functional properties. Take dish washing liquid for example. Many of these products contain surfactants that aid in cleaning by reducing surface tension, solvents that dissolve or suspend materials, and chelating agents that reduce water hardness. Without the use of these ingredients we would probably complain about the effectiveness of the product.
A Safer Choice product contains the safest possible ingredients. Each ingredient has been screened for negative synergies (dangerous chemical combinations), potential human health effects, and environmental effects– based on the best available data. Safer Choice products will use ingredients with the lowest hazard in their functional class while still be high-performing.
Only products who have become Safer Choice partners can earn the right to display the Safer Choice product label/logo. Products using the Safer Choice label/logo have invested heavily in research, development and reformulation to ensure that their ingredients and finished product align at the green end of the health and environmental spectrum, while maintaining product performance.
Please note, the use of the Safer Choice label/logo does not constitute endorsement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It does however, recognize the company using the Safer Choice label/logo has gone through rigorous screening and uses ingredients with more positive human health and environmental characteristics than conventional products of the same type.
For more information see:
Extension Agent II
Have a question? Contact the University of Florida IFAS – Leon County Extension office at 606-5203, weekdays 8 a.m. to noon or 1 to 5 p.m.
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