The EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Program recently published its Safer Chemical Ingredients List. The DfE list will complement the CleanGredients database, which includes trade name chemicals, physical-chemical and functional properties, hazard information, and vendor contacts. The list only includes chemicals in products that have been voluntarily submitted for evaluation to DfE, which means there may be chemicals that are not on the list that are safer. Products can only use the DfE logo if they go through the formal DfE review, meeting both ingredient and product-level DfE criteria, and enter a partnership agreement with the EPA.
Chemicals are identified on the list by their Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) number. The listed chemicals have a geometric color symbol next to it to help users better understand a chemical’s hazard status, for example, the degree of certainty in the hazard profile or the need for more data or safer alternatives. The list will serve as a resource for health and environmental advocates who are preaching the use of safer chemicals, consumers who are seeking information on ingredients in safer chemical products, and for product formulators who are attempting to make safer products.