Green Seal reports that some institutional purchasers have contacted the organization regarding its recently published GS-51 “Standard for Laundry Care Products for Industrial and Institutional Use.” Most have questions regarding the new standard’s scope, regulatory and performance issues, and related items.
Below are some of the most frequent questions, answered by Mark Petruzzi, Senior Vice President of Outreach & Strategic Relations for Green Seal.
To whom does GS-51 certification apply?
It applies to scores of laundry care products used for industrial/institutional use. Among these are prewash products, detergents, spot and stain removers, bleaches, antimicrobial pesticide products used in laundry care, and more.
Does this mean GS-51 does not apply to household laundry care products?
Correct. We created another standard, GS-48, specifically for household laundry care products.
Are there ingredients in conventional institutional laundry care products that are potentially harmful to the user and environment?
Unfortunately there are many. Many institutional laundry care products contain ingredients such as heavy metals, phthalates, formaldehyde donors, carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins, and ozone-depleting compounds, along with high levels of volatile organic compounds, all of which can be potentially harmful to the user and environment.

Are there any regulatory requirements for the use of GS-51?
Because the standard was released just a few months ago, the answer is not at this time. However, references to the standard are now being cited in at least one state’s RFP (requests for proposal) for purchasing laundry care products.
Does GS-51 have performance-related requirements?
Definitely.  Each product that earns GS-51 certification must deliver satisfactory performance and meet comparable benchmarks for that product category.
Ultimately, what is Green Seal’s goal with GS-51?
Our goal with this standard and most of our standards is the same: first, to allow purchasers to identify safer, environmentally preferable products; and second, to allow the manufacturers of these products the opportunity to be recognized as leaders in their industry.