According to its Web site, ISSA applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its efforts in developing the Safer Detergent Stewardship Initiative (SDSI) in testimony presented by ISSA Director of Legislative Affairs Bill Balek at a June 12 public hearing conducted by the agency.

SDSI is an initiative developed by EPA’s Design for the Environment, aimed at encouraging companies to voluntarily phase out their use of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). Companies, such as formulators, building service contractors, distributors, facilities, and others, are eligible to participate in SDSI.

NPE is a surfactant ingredient used in a variety of detergents and cleaning products. Both NPEs and their breakdown products, such as nonylphenol (NP), can harm aquatic life.

Because of the environmental issues surrounding NPEs and nonylphenols in general, Balek testified that it is prudent to encourage companies to voluntarily phase out NPEs and transition to the use of surfactants with a preferred environmental and safety and health profile. Additionally, the market demand for environmentally preferable or “green” cleaning products continues to grow, particularly in the institutional sectors. And part of the “green equation” in the world of cleaning products is being NPE-free.

While ISSA is supportive of the SDSI program generally, Balek cautioned EPA to structure the eligibility criteria for SDSI in such a manner that the burdens and costs associated with transitioning to greener surfactants are made more manageable.

In addition, Balek urged the agency to provide companies that participate in SDSI with the type of public recognition that they can use to help differentiate themselves in the marketplace as an environmentally oriented company.

For more information on the SDSI program, click here.