Safer Choice Label
Finding products that are safer for you, your family, and the environment should be easy—that’s why EPA created the Safer Choice label. The Safer Choice label helps you identify products with safer chemical ingredients, without sacrificing quality or performance. When you see a product with the Safer Choice label, it means that every ingredient in the product has been evaluated by EPA scientists. Only the safest ingredients are allowed in products with the Safer Choice label.
Overview of the Safer Choice Program
The Safer Choice Program, formerly known as the Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product Labeling Program, was developed in 1997 and draws upon chemical and environmental expertise from across EPA. Safer Choice uses the technical tools and expertise of EPA’s New Chemicals Program to evaluate the environmental and human health impacts of every chemical ingredient in a product, allowing only the safest ingredients in labeled products. As a voluntary partnership program, Safer Choice brings all interested parties together to advance sustainability in chemical products.
Safer Choice encourages manufacturers to reach a high bar to create safer products. To qualify for the Safer Choice label, products must meet the Safer Choice Standard and the appropriate Criteria for Safer Chemical Ingredients, available at: www2.epa.gov/saferchoice/standard. The program develops and continually improves its criteria through a multi-stakeholder process. The program’s technical committees include members of the chemical industry, product manufacturers, environmental and health advocates, and academics who inform the process and advance safer formulations.
Manufacturers designing safer products can use EPA’s Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL), www2.epa.gov/saferchoice/safer-ingredients, to help find safer chemical alternatives for their formulations. This list of safer chemical ingredients is arranged by functional-use class and assists product manufacturers in identifying chemicals that have already been evaluated by EPA and identified as safer.
A complementary resource for identifying products that meet the Criteria for Safer Chemical Ingredients is GreenBlue’s CleanGredients© database of safer ingredient chemicals, www.cleangredients.org. Like EPA’s Safer Chemical Ingredients List, CleanGredients© assists manufacturers in designing safer products.
The Safer Choice Difference
EPA’s Safer Choice Program focuses on chemistry and identifying safer chemicals. Our approach to product review is grounded in the EPA’s more than 40 years of experience in evaluating the human health and environmental characteristics of chemicals. This expertise enables the Safer Choice Program to go beyond established lists of problematic chemicals and to use expert judgment to determine the likely health and environmental hazards of chemicals that haven’t been widely studied. When the Safer Choice label appears on a product, it means that EPA has screened each ingredient in the product for potential human health and environmental effects and that–based on hazard and risk information, the latest models and predictive tools, and expert scientific judgment–the product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class. Safer Choice works closely with companies to help them understand the chemistry of their products and to select safer alternatives to chemicals that pose potential health or environmental concerns. Products that carry the Safer Choice label must meet requirements for:
- Safer chemical ingredients
- Ingredient disclosure
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- How to Partner, Get the Safer Choice Label
- Safer Choice Standard for Safer Cleaning Products (PDF) (31 pp., 177 K, about PDF )
- Partnership Agreement (PDF) (10 pp., 44 K, about PDF )
- Safer Choice Chemical Ingredients
- Safer Choice Criteria for Safer Chemical Ingredients
- CleanGredients® (database of safer ingredients)