Green Seal has released the revision of GS-37 after more than a year and a half of stakeholder involvement, rigorous discussion, enhancements and updates reflecting advances in cleaning technology, toxicology, health science, and awareness of health concerns (e.g., air emissions, endocrine disruptors, and asthmagens, etc.) A key focus of the revised GS-37 is protecting sensitive and vulnerable populations such as children.

“The primary goal of the GS-37 revision - the fourth revision since GS-37’s original release in 2000 - is to ensure that it continues to represent an environmental leadership standard in the marketplace and, vitally, to incorporate criteria that fully protects human health, including that of children and custodial workers,” said  Arthur Weissman, Ph.D., president and CEO of Green Seal.

GS-37 establishes environmental requirements for institutional and industrial general-purpose, restroom, glass, and carpet cleaners; products intended for routine cleaning of offices, institutions, warehouses, and industrial facilities. The revised standard criteria emphasize consideration of vulnerable populations in institutional settings such as schools, day-care facilities, nursing homes, and other facilities.  

GS-37 also requires the products meet performance benchmarks set by organizations such as ASTM, the Carpet and Rug Institute, and the Consumer Specialty Products Association, and/or that products meet or exceed performance norms for conventional, nationally-recognized products in the same category and at equivalent product-specific use directions.

GS-37 does not include cleaners for household use, food preparation operations, or medical facilities, nor does it apply to air fresheners, enzymatic or microbially active products or products required to be registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, such as those making claims as sterilizers, disinfectants, or sanitizers.

The revision of GS-37 has been managed by Green Seal with the help of an executive committee including: New York State; the Healthy Schools Network Inc.; a pediatric health expert from the Medical University of South Carolina; TerraChoice, administrator of the EcoLogo Program; and ISSA, the trade association of the cleaning industry. Major funding was provided by New York State.

Many expert sources assisted throughout the technical development of the standard, including:  the University of Tennessee Center for Clean Products and Clean Technologies; GREENGUARD Environmental Institute; the Division of Environmental Health Assessment for the New York State Dept. of Health; the Occupational Health Surveillance Program for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Division of Respiratory Disease Studies; the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health at the University of Texas Health Center at Tyler;  and product development experts;  among others. Washington DC-based RESOLVE – a non-profit organization specializing in consensus building processes in public decision making - helped facilitate stakeholder involvement.