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Green cleaning refers to using cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients and procedures which are designed to preserve human health and environmental quality. Green cleaning techniques and products avoid the use of products which contain toxic chemicals, some of which emit volatile organic compounds causing respiratory, dermatological and other conditions. Green cleaning can also describe the way residential and industrial cleaning products are manufactured, packaged and distributed. If the manufacturing process is environmentally friendly and the products are biodegradable, then the term "green" or "eco-friendly" may apply.
Product labeling programs
Among the product-labeling programs is the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Design for the Environment program which labels products that meet EPA's criteria for chemicals. These products are allowed to carry the Design for the Environment (DfE) label, renamed EPA Safer Choice in 2015. Generally, products which are labelled 'low' or 'zero' VOC are safer for human and animal health in the home as well as the environment. In addition, EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act addresses chemicals in the environment and makes regulatory rules to maximize human health. There are also independent product labeling programs for cleaning products and cleaning services offered by nonprofit organizations like Green Seal.
On October 15, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 258, the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act. The bill was brought to the floor by Senator Ricardo Lara and supported by some of the oldest green cleaning manufacturers, such as Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks of Earth Friendly Products and board member of the American Sustainable Business Council, as well as mainstream companies who are entering into the green cleaning space such as SC Johnson who recently purchased Mrs. Meyers and Method. The Cleaning Product Right to Know Act makes California the first state to require ingredient labeling both on product labels and online for cleaning products. Unlike retail packaged food, no federal requirements exist for disclosing ingredients on cleaning products. The Cleaning Product Right to Know Act will require known hazardous chemicals in cleaning products to be listed on both product labels and online by 2020. The legislation lists 34 chemicals found in cleaning products that have been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, asthma and other serious health effects:
- Acrylic acid
- Carbon tetrachloride
- Ethylene oxide
- Nitrilotriacetic acid
- Butyl benzyl phthalate
- Butyl decyl phthalate
- Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
- Diethyl phthalate
- Diisobutyl phthalate
- Di(n-octyl) phthalate
- Diisononyl phthalate
- Dioctyl phthalate
- DMDM hydantoin
- Diazolidinyl urea
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Polyoxymethylene urea
- Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
- 1-(3-chloroallyl)-3,5,7-triaza-1-azoniaadamantane chloride
In the announcement made by the California State Senate said the bill was in "response to consumers' demand for transparency."
- Green Seal
- Cleaning agent
- Environmental impact of cleaning agents
- Design for the Environment
- United States Environmental Protection Agency
- "Defining Green Cleaning And Why It's Important". Retrieved 26 July 2018.
- Sarah Aguirre. "What Is Green Cleaning?". Retrieved 26 July 2018.
- California, State of. "Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. – Governor of California". www.gov.ca.gov. Archived from the original on 2016-08-02. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
- "Bill Text - SB-258 Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
- "Senator Ricardo Lara". Retrieved 2018-07-14.
- "Earth Friendly Products Celebrates Passage of California's Historic Ingredient Transparency Legislation". ecos.com. 2017-10-17. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
- "| American Sustainable Business Council". asbcouncil.org. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
- "SC Johnson Applauds California's Passing of Cleaning Product Right to Know Act". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
- "S.C. Johnson integrating Caldrea/Mrs. Meyer's in Racine, ceasing Minneapolis operations". MinnPost. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
- "SC Johnson Signs Agreement to Acquire Method and Ecover | Press Room". www.scjohnson.com. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
- "Governor Brown Signs Cleaning Product Right to Know Act to Create First-in-Nation Label Law for Consumers". Senator Ricardo Lara. Retrieved 2018-07-14.