Design for the Environment–EPA’s Safer Product Labeling Program
Green Chemistry/Design for the Environment:
Readers interested in EPA’s Safer Product Labeling Program may want to look through the list of products now authorized to carry EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) label. The list is available here.
On April 20, in anticipation of Earth Day, EPA announced that 2,500 products are now approved to carry the DfE label, including all-purpose cleaners, laundry and dishwasher detergents, drain line maintainers, and car and boat care products. DfE-labeled products do not contain known chemicals of potential concern, like carcinogens, reproductive or developmental toxicants. Even minor product components, like dyes and fragrances, are screened for safety. In fact, according to EPA, before allowing the DfE logo to be used on a product label, the Agency conducts a scientific evaluation to ensure that candidate products are formulated from the safest possible ingredients. The Agency’s press release explains that “[t]he 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 also announced that DfE labeled products will soon be required to disclose their ingredients (other than trade secrets) to consumers. In addition, new DfE-approved products will need to meet additional life-cycle requirements such as sustainable packaging and limits on volatile organic compounds. The new disclosure and life-cycle requirements will be phased in for existing DfE products, but some companies are already moving to comply with those standards.
Instructions on the application process for DfE labeling are available here.
Click here for the DfE home page.