Learn About the Safer Choice Label
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About Safer Choice
Same program, new label
Finding cleaning and other products that are safer for you, your family, and the environment should be easy — that's why we developed our new Safer Choice label. We all play a role in protecting our families’ health and the environment. Products with the Safer Choice label help consumers and commercial buyers identify products with safer chemical ingredients, without sacrificing quality or performance.
More than 2,000 products currently qualify to carry the Safer Choice label. Safer Choice products are available for your home at retail stores and for use in facilities like schools, hotels, offices, and sports venues.
For the past 15 years EPA's label for safer chemical products has been known as the Design for the Environment, or the “DfE,” label. We spent more than a year collecting ideas and discussing new label options with stakeholders, such as product manufacturers and environmental and health advocates. Then we took our ideas to consumers and asked what worked best for them. The result is the new Safer Choice label.
In addition to the Safer Choice label above, we’re offering an optional label that product manufacturers may use on products designated for businesses, office buildings, sports venues, and schools.
We also have a label that indicates that a product is fragrance-free, to help consumers who prefer products without fragrance. Learn more about our criteria for the fragrance-free label.
What does the Safer Choice label mean?
Participation in the Safer Choice program is voluntary. Companies who make products carrying the Safer Choice label have invested heavily in research and reformulation to ensure that their products meet the Safer Choice Standard. These companies are leaders in safer products and sustainability.
Products have to pass our stringent criteria in order to earn the Safer Choice label. The Safer Choice program reviews more than just product ingredients. We also look at product performance, pH, packaging and more to ensure that products with the label are safer for you and your family. Once a product meets the Safer Choice Standard, EPA conducts annual audits to ensure our standards continue to be met.
Every ingredient is reviewed: Before a product can carry the Safer Choice label, EPA reviews all chemical ingredients, regardless of their percentage in the product. Every ingredient must meet strict safety criteria for both human health and the environment, including carcinogenicity, reproductive/developmental toxicity, toxicity to aquatic life, and persistence in the environment. This means that Safer Choice-labeled products are safer for:
- You, your family, and pets;
- Workers' health; and
- Fish and the environment.
Product performance: Products that qualify to carry the Safer Choice label must pass category-specific performance standards as defined in the Safer Choice Standard. All products must perform comparably to conventional products.
Packaging: Safer Choice reviews all product packaging against criteria defined in the Safer Choice Standard. Partners are required to implement sustainable packaging measures and to improve the packaging profile for their recognized products during the partnership.
pH: Labeled products must meet pH standards that minimize the potential for skin and eye irritation or injury.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Safer Choice restricts VOC content to minimize indoor air pollution and associated respiratory concerns.