Unsealing Green Seal

Lots of news going on concerning the soap and detergent industry. The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) sent a press release a couple of days ago about their objections on a revised environmental standard for industrial and institutional (I&I) cleaners developed and published by the non-profit green certification company Green Seal.

Here are some of the points that caught my attention in the revised standards called GS-37 (about 20 pages long):

  • The prohibition of phthalates and alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs).
  • Content of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was limited to 1% by weight for glass and ready-to-use carpet cleaners.
  • Fragrance disclosure on the product label and MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets).
  • Colorants must be FDA-certified or a natural ingredient.
  • Packaging should have reduced material use, be recyclable or contain at least 25% post-consumer material.
  • Prohibition of phthalates and chlorinated in packaging materials.

These points, and probably some others points as well, do not sit well of course with the SDA along with other organizations and companies including the Alkylphenol Ethoxylates Research Council (no surprise here), American Chemistry Council (phthalates…), The Fragrance Materials Association (again no surprise), Consumer Specialty Products Association, New York State Chemical Alliance, Carpet and Rug Institute, SI Group, Reckitt Benckiser and Zep Inc.

They also said that they [the stakeholders] were never given an opportunity to review the revision before its release.

“Green Seal cannot credibly claim to have overcome opposition when registered stakeholders were shut out of this critical final step. The result is a flawed standard that lacks the factual and scientific basis to guide purchasing decisions.”

No word yet from Green Seal but I’m betting they will not change their minds about some of these revised standards especially regarding phthalates and chlorinated chemicals in packaging. Once a certain chemical’s reputation has been soiled by public advocates, it’s hard to clean them up even with scientific facts especially when a product is being labeled as green.

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