Safer Choice

EPA Safer Choice Label enables purchase of safer household products

Manufacturers of Safer Choice products are leaders in transparency, sustainability and safer products

Over 2000 commercially available products carry the Safer Choice label

The USEPA Safer Choice program helps identify products that perform well and are safer for human health and the environment. The Safer Choice label recently replaced the USEPA Design for the Environment or DfE label. Although both programs are the same, Safer Choice is a better description of the consumer benefits than Design for the Environment.

Safer Choice is applicable to consumer products that mostly perform a cleaning function, although the label continues to expand into other categories. Examples include laundry products, floor cleaners, car care and all purpose cleaners.

Explaining the Safer Choice labelSafer Choice

If a product contains the Safer Choice label, it means EPA scientists have thoroughly reviewed every ingredient. Only products that meet the Safer Choice Standard can carry the label. The standard includes stringent human health and environmental criteria.

The Safer Choice Standard is voluntary. Companies who manufacture to the Safer Choice Standard have reformulated their products to ensure ingredients and finished products are the safest in class.

The Safer Choice Standard includes requirements for performance, packaging, pH and volatile organic compounds.

Ingredients are categorized and assessed by functional class

Each chemical ingredient is categorized by its function (cleaning, coloring, preserving etc.) because many chemicals with the same function have similar toxicological and environmental fate. Ingredients can therefore be compared, sorted and classified.

Within each “functional class,” Safer Choice focuses its review of ingredients on the key environmental and human health characteristics of concern within a functional class.

Formulators choose ingredients with the lowest hazard in their functional class, while still formulating high-performing products.

Benefits of the Safer Choice Program

  • Safer Choice is transparent and uses a science-based method to assess all added functional ingredients.
  • If a chemical passes the Safer Choice criteria, it is added to the publicly available Safer Chemical Ingredient List (SCIL) which anyone can access. Manufacturers can therefore choose from a list of “safest in class” to formulate or even reformulate their products.
  • It provides an immediate “piece of mind” because consumers know they are purchasing safer cleaning products.

Impact to your business

Questions to Consider:

  • Do you manufacture a product that may benefit from the Safer Choice Program?
  • Do you know what chemicals are in your products?

For help with any issue associated with chemicals, contact Amanda Cattermole at (415) 412 8406 or We can help you develop powerful solutions to protect your company and brand reputation that result in safer products manufactured in cleaner supply chains.

Tips and Insights contains information to help you make informed chemicals management decisions. Each post highlights a particular topic and includes questions for you to consider .

Posted on: Jul 05, 2015 in Tools

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