CSPA, ACI Comments on EPA Safer Cleaning Product Standard
• The American Cleaning Institute (ACI, formerly The Soap and Detergent Association) expressed continuing support for the federal government’s Design for the Environment (DfE) program, but is disappointed with its newly issued guidelines governing the qualification of products under the DfE’s Standard for Safer Cleaning Products.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which administers the DfE program, issued updated criteria for product attributes required for cleaning products to qualify for DfE recognition.
ACI said the agency’s position on such areas as ingredient communication, use of prohibited ingredient lists not vetted through U.S. stakeholders, asthmagens, allergens and sensitizers, and enzymes could pose barriers to participation, would set unfortunate precedents for mandatory programs in other jurisdictions, and are not warranted by the science surrounding the safety of these products and ingredients.
Further, DfE has blurred the lines between what is purportedly a cleaning products standard with sections devoted to criteria for products designed for prolonged dermal contact, according to the associations.
While DfE maintains that the move was made to broaden the sectors open for partnership, the associations insist it obscurs the purpose of this standard, which is to establish “minimum requirements for identifying cleaning products that meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s DfE Safer Product Labeling Program (also known as the Formulator Program) criteria.”
“DfE’s provisions for the listing of ingredients used in cleaning products are not consumer-friendly and would threaten companies’ ability to protect confidential business information (CBI). CBI protects the pipeline of innovation which leads to environmentally-friendly cleaning products,” said Michelle Radecki, ACI vice president and general counsel.
It remains to be seen whether the revised guidelines will discourage participation and undercut the program’s goal of encouraging the development of the kinds of products that are consistent with EPA’s mission, according to ACI.
The Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) is pleased with the vast majority of what DfE incorporated in the new criteria as it struck a balance between greater transparency and protecting proprietary information. The new criteria goes beyond the industry’s voluntary Consumer Product Ingredient Communication Initiative launched in January 2010 as a way to provide greater transparency about ingredients in cleaning products.
CSPA has remaining concerns about optional criteria for product-specific disclosure of fragrance materials; one of them regards the required use of CAS numbers because consumers will not easily understand them, according to the association.
More info: www.cleaninginstitute.org, www.cspa.org
Industry Sees a Variety of Recalls
From hair care to bathroom cleaners, the household and personal product industry has experienced several recalls in the past few months from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
• Approximately one million Redken Spray Mousse Foam Cans were recalled. The aerosol container’s liner can corrode over time, posing a risk of the cans rupturing and expelling its contents. Redken received 41 reports of cans rupturing. No injuries were reported at press time. This recall involved Redken Guts 10 Volume Spray Mousse Foam sold in 10.58- and 2-oz. size cans at salons and beauty supply stores nationwide from January 1998 through February 2011.
•The Procter & Gamble Company recalled more than 10 shades of Clairol Natural Instincts in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The company said it is taking the step due to a mismatched ColorFresh! Revitalizer sachet in the kits that may create an unwanted color result. The primary hair colorant was not affected.
• Almost eight million candles were recalled at Pacific Trade International, as the gift sets posed a fire hazard. The candles have a clear, plastic cup that can melt or ignite, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers. Pacific Trade has received one report of the plastic cup melting while in use. No injuries or property damage were reported at press time. The recall involved tea lights sold under the brand names Chesapeake Bay Candle and Modern Light in various colors.
• Scotch Corporation recalled its Instant Power Toilet Bowl Restorer because the contents can leak from the cap when the bottle is turned on its side. When this happens, the cleaner (model number 1803) can come into contact with consumers and property, posing a risk of chemical burns and irritation to the skin and eyes. At press time, Scotch has received seven reports of bottles leaking, resulting in property damage.
More info: www.cpsc.gov