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Two New Laundry Standards from Green Seal

March 14, 2013

• Green Seal has published two new standards to address the life cycle impacts of laundry care products—GS-48, for household laundry care products, and GS-51, for laundry products used in institutional and industrial settings.

To receive certification under GS-48 or GS-51, laundry products cannot contain any components that are carcinogens, reproductive toxins, mutagens, neurotoxins/systemic toxins, endocrine disruptors, asthmagens, and respiratory and skin sensitizers. Certified products must not cause skin corrosion or eye damage, according to the group.

In addition to minimizing or eliminating the toxic ingredients often found in these products, GS-48 and GS-51 provide important benchmarks in terms of product concentration in order to reduce the overall environmental impact, said Green Seal, which is based in Washington, DC.

Specifically, GS-51, referring to I&I products, provides an important benchmark in terms of product concentration. The standard establishes minimum requirements for concentrated (2X) and ultra-concentrated (4X) detergents and fabric softeners.

Both of the new Green Seal standards also focus on product performance. Certified products must demonstrate that they perform as well as conventional laundry care products. GS-48, referring to products for household use, requires products to perform as well in cold water, thereby vastly reducing the energy needed for the wash process, and reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

About 80% of the environmental impact of these products occurs during consumer usage, so the standard requires that labels recommend using the proper amount, washing at the lowest possible temperature and washing a full load.

GS-48 covers more than 17 categories of laundry care products. GS-51 covers more than 20 categories of products for conventional laundry and dry cleaning.

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