These days, most of us feel a heightened awareness of all the surfaces we touch and concern about how to clean these surfaces safely. But, the range of options available coupled with a rise in the use of buzzwords like “green,” “natural,” and “eco-friendly” make it hard to know what to choose.
You can take the guesswork out by opting for cleaning products that have a Safer Choice label. Safer Choice is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) product certification and labeling program. The program has a database of roughly 2,500 products that EPA certified as safe. Most of the products listed are for cleaning and laundry, but the list also includes products for other uses like pet care. Visitors to the Safe Choice website can view a full product list, search for safer choices available in different communities, and access information on the types of chemicals being tested and replaced in the products they use. Or, people can look for the Safer Choice label in their local store.
Products must go through a stringent certification process to be able to bare a Safer Choice label. The EPA looks at several factors, including the performance of a product and its impacts on human and environmental health. After being certified, a product undergoes annual audits by the EPA. This process ensures a company maintains product quality over time, so consumers can feel confident that they are making a good choice when buying a product with the Safer Choice label.
This September, EPA recognized the Hazardous Waste Management Program (Haz Waste Program) for our efforts to advance the use of chemicals in King County that meet Safer Choice criteria. During the last year, the Haz Waste Program did extensive outreach to King County residents and businesses. We hosted safer cleaning workshops and provided 1,000 safer cleaning kits to South King County communities that included Safer Choice-certified dish soap. We are thrilled to be recognized as a 2020 Safer Choice Partner of the Year winner by the EPA. Learn more about the Safer Choice program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website.
Image from EPA Safer Choice Program