ICS Magazine

EPA Moves Forward on Green Claims for Disinfectants and Sanitizers

October 9, 2008

Lincolnwood, IL, USA-A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) work group has committed to developing a proposal that would allow companies to make “green” claims and/or use eco-labels in conjunction with the promotion and marketing of disinfectants, sanitizers, and possibly other EPA-registered pesticide products. Current EPA policy prohibits such claims.

In this regard, ISSA Director of Legislative Affairs Bill Balek and The Ashkin Group President Stephen Ashkin were appointed co-chairs of a committee tasked with the responsibility of carving a path forward for the use of environmentally preferable claims related to institutional and commercial disinfectants and sanitizers. This committee will report its results to the EPA Work Group on Comparative Claims for Pesticide Products.

Balek and Ashkin were appointed to the comparative-claims work group in late summer. The group was established for the specific purpose of making recommendations to the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs regarding the use of green claims in the promotion of EPA-registered pesticide products. Historically, the EPA has prohibited the use of environmentally preferable claims, including the use of eco-labels, in relation to any pesticide products, including disinfectants and sanitizers.

The EPA recently agreed to review its current policy at the prodding of ISSA and others that have argued that the marketplace demand for environmentally preferable cleaning products requires the agency to develop a new policy that allows industry to make objective and verifiable claims regarding the environmental and safety and health attributes of its disinfectants and sanitizers.

To date, the work group has met twice, most recently on October 6, and is moving forward quickly to finalize its recommendations. It is expected that a specific plan will be proposed and discussed at the work group’s next meeting, in early December.