WASHINGTON -- As part of the Earth Day 2011 tribute and continued efforts to protect Americans’ health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that more than 2,500 products are now authorized by the agency under its Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product Labeling Program to carry the DfE label. DfE-labeled products do not contain known chemicals of potential concern, like carcinogens, reproductive or developmental toxicants. Even minor product components, like dyes and fragrances, are screened for safety. EPA is also announcing that it soon will require manufacturers with products that bear the DfE logo to disclose their ingredients to consumers.
“EPA’s DfE Program helps empower people to choose products that are safer for their families and our planet,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The DfE program provides important information about the safety of certain products that contain chemicals and gives consumers confidence that DfE products meet rigorous requirements.”
Before allowing the DfE logo to be used on a product label, EPA conducts a scientific evaluation to ensure that candidate products are formulated from the safest possible ingredients. The DfE label means that EPA has screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects and that the product contains only ingredients that, in EPA’s scientific opinion, pose the least concern among chemicals in their class.
EPA is also implementing a requirement effective immediately that new DfE-labeled products list all ingredients (other than trade secrets) on the product label or in another easily accessible location (such as a website, for example). New DfE-approved products also will have to meet additional life-cycle requirements such as sustainable packaging and limits on volatile organic compounds.. The new disclosure and life-cycle requirements will be phased in for existing DfE products. EPA has been working with product manufacturers on the new requirements and applauds the efforts of companies who have already moved towards these standards.
Products that carry the DfE label include all-purpose cleaners, laundry and dishwasher detergents, drain line maintainers, car and boat care and other products. Using DfE- labeled products significantly reduces exposures to chemicals that may be of concern to people’s or environmental health.