Understanding CleanGredients and the EPA’s Safer Choice Label Certification

Understanding CleanGredients and the EPA’s Safer Choice Label Certification
May 16, 2023 Megan Hopkins

Understanding CleanGredients and the EPA’s Safer Choice Label Certification

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safer Choice program is a valuable resource for individuals and businesses looking to make safer and more sustainable choices when it comes to household and industrial cleaning products. The Safer Choice program provides a rigorous screening process to identify products that are safer for human health and the environment. By choosing products with the Safer Choice label, consumers and businesses can make a positive impact on both their health and the planet. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of the Safer Choice program, how it works, and how you can participate in making safer and more sustainable choices.

Safer Choice Label Certification

The EPA’s Safer Choice program identifies consumer and industrial cleaning products that are safer for human health and the environment. The program provides a label that manufacturers can use on their products to indicate that the product has met the EPA’s criteria for safer ingredients and is less harmful to human health and the environment compared to conventional products.

To qualify for the Safer Choice label, a product must meet the EPA’s criteria for safer chemical ingredients, including:

  1. Products performance: products must meet or exceed performance standards for effectiveness, as determined by the EPA.
  2. Packaging: manufacturers must use packaging that is environmentally responsible, including using recycled materials, reducing waste, and minimizing environmental impact.
  3. pH: suitable pH standards must be met to minimize skin and eye irritation.
  4. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): to minimize indoor air pollution and other concerns, Safer Choice restricts VOC content.

By choosing Safer Choice products, consumers can reduce their exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and support the use of safer and more environmentally responsible products.

What is the CleanGredients list?

The CleanGredients list is a helpful tool for formulators of consumer and industrial cleaning products looking for safer chemical ingredients that meet specific environmental and health criteria. The list is designed to help manufacturers identify ingredients for Safer Choice products, which meet the strict standards established by the EPA.

To meet the Safer Choice Standard, products must adhere to stringent criteria for human health and environmental safety, including the disclosure of all ingredients and limitations on certain chemicals. Formulators who consult the CleanGredients list can choose ingredients that meet these criteria and prioritize factors such as environmental impact, human health effects, and product performance. They must also consider the availability and cost of alternative ingredients and evaluate their impact on the product’s efficacy, stability, and shelf-life.

By using CleanGredients and following the Safer Choice Standard, formulators can create consumer and industrial cleaning products that are safer for people and the environment while still maintaining high performance standards.

How can formulators choose ingredients for Safer Choice products?

  1. Look for ingredients on the CleanGredients list: The easiest way to ensure that you’re using safer ingredients is to look for ingredients that have met the stringent CleanGredients criteria.
  2. Avoid certain chemicals: To make safer choices for ingredients, avoid certain chemicals that are known to be harmful to human health or the environment. These include ingredients like phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, and chlorine bleach.
  3. Choose plant-based or natural ingredients: Look for ingredients that are plant-based or derived from natural sources. These ingredients are often safer and more environmentally friendly than synthetic chemicals.
  4. Read labels carefully: When choosing ingredients, read labels carefully to identify any potentially harmful chemicals. Look for ingredients that are biodegradable, non-toxic, and phosphate-free.

Amphi® M is now CleanGredients listed

Locus Ingredients’ Amphi M biosurfactant has received EPA approval for use in Safer Choice-certified products. Amphi M is listed on the CleanGredient list which is a testament to its environmental sustainability and safety. What makes Amphi M particularly noteworthy is its ability to meet both the Safer Choice surfactant and direct release criteria.

Direct release products bypass sewage treatment or septic systems and are instead immediately released into the environment. Because direct release products are not processed through the systems that filter aquatic toxins, the ingredients used must be cleaner and safer than traditional chemicals. It is important to mention, however, while all direct release-approved products are Safer Choice label certified, not all products approved for Safer Choice are approved for direct release. High-performance, readily biodegradable Amphi M is an ideal biosurfactant ingredient choice for direct release product formulators.

The development of a biosurfactant that meets both the EPA Safer Choice surfactant and direct release criteria, and is listed on the CleanGredient list, is a significant achievement that highlights the potential of biosurfactants to replace synthetic surfactants in a wide range of applications. As the demand for environmentally friendly and sustainable products continues to grow, biosurfactants are poised to play an increasingly important role in meeting these needs.

Want to learn more about biosurfactants and how they propel formulation technology into a cleaner tomorrow? Let’s talk.