The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that more than 2,500 products are now authorized under its Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product labeling program. These products, which can carry the agency’s DfE label, do not contain known chemicals of potential concern, like carcinogens or reproductive or developmental toxicants. Even minor product components, like dyes and fragrances, are screened for safety. The EPA is also announcing that it soon will require manufacturers with products that bear the DfE logo to disclose their ingredients to consumers.
The DfE list, contains an array of household cleaners, including floor care products, granite and stone cleaners, and degreasers. Drain-clearing chemicals are also on the list, along with floor strippers and finishers, graffiti removers, and brick and masonry cleaners.
Before allowing the DfE logo to be used on a product label, the EPA conducts a scientific evaluation to ensure that candidate products are formulated from the safest possible ingredients. The DfE label means that EPA has screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects and that the product contains only ingredients that, in EPA’s scientific opinion, pose the least concern among chemicals in their class.
EPA is also implementing a requirement, effective immediately, that new DfE-labeled products list all ingredients (other than trade secrets) on the product label or in another easily accessible location, such as a Web site. New DfE-approved products also will have to meet additional life-cycle requirements such as sustainable packaging and limits on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) The new disclosure and life-cycle requirements will be phased in for existing DfE products.