Updates To Green Certifying Disinfectants and Sanitizers
ISSA's Bill Balek reported that in late November an EPA committee, of which ISSA is a member, continued its work in regard to developing policies that recognize “green” disinfectants and sanitizers under a pilot project conducted by EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE), and Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). Under this pilot project, “green” disinfectants and sanitizers may bear the DfE logo if they meet certain requirements.
Recently, this committee, known more formally as the Comparative Safety Statements for Pesticide Product Labeling Workgroup of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC), met to discuss various aspects of the EPA green disinfectant/sanitizer pilot including the following.
Revisions to DfE Logo.
On the part of EPA and stakeholders, there has been a desire to improve the graphic for the DfE logo. In an attempt to develop a better logo, EPA has been working with consumers and talking with DfE partners to understand what they would like to see. Their goal is to develop a logo that communicates both the public health benefits and benefits to the environment of using products recognized by DfE.
EPA staff in the Office of Pesticide Programs has looked to the Energy Star and Water Sense logos as examples to use to help model the new DfE logo. This revision process ultimately will help better communicate to consumers the benefits of products recognized by the program. EPA realizes that there are public-private partnerships involved and that the DfE logo provides market incentives for development of products with a preferred environmental, safety and health profile, which benefits everyone—producers and customers alike.
Safer Chemical List.
EPA provided an overview of the safer chemical list that complements the DfE program. Updating the list is a complex process, however, Jim Jones, EPA Assistant Administrator, has asked staff to release the updated list soon. The list of 500 chemicals that met the criteria was published in September of 2012, and updated in July 2013. The list is organized by class of products, many of which are found in detergents and cleaning products. A link to the current list is below. This tool is useful in developing products that can achieve DfE recognition. See http://www.epa.gov/dfe/saferingredients.htm.
Status of Including Additional Active Ingredients.
For the duration of much of the pilot, there have been only three active ingredients acceptable for use in DfE recognized disinfectants and sanitizers:
• Citric acid,
• Hydrogen peroxide, and
• Lactic acid.
Because this was such a limiting factor, EPA OPP and DfE staff reevaluated acceptable antimicrobial active ingredients, and now the list of acceptable actives has been expanded to include:
• Isopropyl, and
EPA indicated that they want to move forward quickly with a pilot that would recognize biobased claims made in conjunction with appropriate disinfectants and sanitizers. A decision was made to do these under pilot as fast track amendments. Fast track means that EPA has a short time period in which it must review the label contents to ensure legal compliance and approve/disapprove the same. According to EPA, disinfectants and sanitizers that will be allowed to make the biobased claim must first be approved through the USDA Biobased Label program. Registrants who wish to feature the USDA Biobased mark on their products also must add a disclaimer statement clarifying that the certification mark does not imply safety of the product and advising users to follow all label instructions.
In a statement released Dec. 13, after the workgroup met, EPA announced it is extending the green disinfectant pilot program until May 15, 2015—the pilot was set to expire at the end of 2013.
For more information on the green disinfectant pilot program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/labels/design-dfe-pilot.html.
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