EPA Seeks Comments on Updates to Safer Choice Standard

Nov. 15, 2023
The EPA plans to update the standards of two programs designed to help consumers select products made with chemical ingredients identified as safer for human health and the environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed updates to the Safer Choice standard, which identifies the requirements that products and their ingredients must meet to earn the EPA's Safer Choice label or Design for the Environment (DfE) logo. The agency is requesting public comments on the proposed updates by Jan. 16, 2024, and will hold a webinar on Dec. 19, 2023, to provide information on proposed updates to the standard.

The Safer Choice program helps consumers and purchasers for facilities, such as schools and office buildings, find cleaners, detergents and other products made with chemical ingredients deemed safer for human health and the environment. Similarly, the DfE program helps people find disinfectants that meet high standards for human health and the environment.

The proposed updates include:

  • Expanded criteria specific to pet care products to ensure such products use only the safest possible ingredients for both humans and pets.
  • Clarifying language on the EPA’s process for entering product classes and exiting those that pose unexpected risks despite safer chemistry.
  • Clarifying language regarding the use of data from New Approach Methodologies during Safer Choice chemical review.
  • New, optional energy efficiency or use reduction criteria to encourage companies to reduce water use and carbon-based energy consumption.

The EPA periodically updates the standard to keep current with the state of scientific and technological innovation, increase transparency, reduce redundancy and expand the scope of the program as appropriate. This will be the agency’s fourth update since its inception in 2009, and the first since 2015. 

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