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Policy

EPA To List Chemicals Apt For Design Label

by Cheryl Hogue
August 13, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 33

In response to stakeholder requests, EPA is planning to post a list of chemicals it says are acceptable in cleaning and other consumer products that carry the agency’s Design for the Environment (DfE) label. EPA allows companies to affix the DfE label on products that meet two criteria. One is that each ingredient has been screened for potential human health and environmental effects. The other is that the ingredients pose the least concern for these effects among chemicals in their classes, such as solvents or surfactants. The agency says the list, which it plans to post online in September, will include ingredients in products but not a substance’s manufacturers or information about the substance’s association with branded products. EPA also won’t include on the list any chemicals with identities claimed as trade secrets by their makers under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The agency says the list will complement the nonprofit GreenBlue’s CleanGredients subscription-only database, which links buyers and sellers of chemicals acceptable in the DfE program.

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