The EPA’s Safer Choice logo helps residents and businesses easily identify products that keep people and the environment safe
Have you ever popped into the store for one thing and left with five? Staying focused while shopping can be hard when you are bombarded by bold claims that this product will change your life. Often, these claims are false promises. However, when it comes to choosing products to use in your home that are the best, safest option – you can trust the Safer Choice label.
Safer Choice is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) product certification and labeling program. The EPA looks at several factors, including product performance and its impact on human and environmental health. Cheri Grasso, Haz Waste Program staff member, notes that, “EPA Safer Choice products have all ingredients evaluated by an independent, third-party organization that certified that they are safest products available on the market.” After a product passes the stringent certification process, it undergoes annual audits by the EPA. This process ensures that a Safer Choice product maintains its effectiveness while protecting people and the environment.
The Hazardous Waste Management Program’s work to provide residents and businesses in King County with information about products with fewer harmful ingredients was recognized by the EPA during its annual Pollution Prevention Week. We are pleased to receive a 2021 Safer Choice Award for Outstanding Leadership in Advancing Safer Chemicals. "The EPA’s Safer Choice program provides a trusted resource that we can share with our customers to help them reduce their exposure to hazardous materials,” says Larry Brown, an employee with the Haz Waste Program.
Our education and outreach work is done in partnership with a local organization, Sea Mar Community Health Centers (Sea Mar). Together, the Haz Waste Program and Sea Mar provided 100 virtual in-home trainings in 2020 to help Latino community members learn about the effects of harmful chemical products and how to select better alternatives, like looking for the Safer Choice label. In a follow-up two months after the trainings, 96% of participants were still using safer cleaning products and recipes. Ninfa Quiroz, Community Relations Director at Sea Mar, knows firsthand why this work is important. “Prevention through education is the best strategy. Our community is not used to seeking out this type of information, so our outreach work is imperative to have a healthy community.” Sea Mar has also received a 2021 Safer Choice Award - congratulations! Learn more about our partnership by reading the 2020 Sea Mar Safer Cleaning Partnership report.
The next time you’re headed to a hardware, pharmacy, or grocery store to pick up an item, consider choosing a product with the Safer Choice logo. Julia Singer, Haz Waste Program staff member, says, “you might be surprised at the number of EPA Safer Choice products you will find!” Shopping list? Done. Protecting your health, your family’s health, and the environment? Triple check.