By Claudia Menasche, ORISE Fellow, Safer Choice Program, US Environmental Protection Agency
I was born in Venezuela and moved to Miami, FL when I was two years old. Growing up in the U.S. with a Spanish speaking family, being bilingual was a natural outgrowth of my environment. As owners of a small international business that sells primarily to South American countries, my parents work and communicate in Spanish all day. I joined EPA’s Safer Choice program last November and have had the privilege to design our new Spanish website. This website, Safer Choice en español, can help millions of Spanish speaking people, like my father, easily find information on products with safer ingredients.
Safer Choice in español helps spread awareness of safer cleaning and other products to the largest ethnic minority in the United States and to other Spanish-speaking countries. It is essential that all people, including Spanish-speaking communities, understand the importance of easily finding products with ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment. By building awareness about the Safer Choice label in Spanish-speaking communities, we can help:
- Spanish-speaking parents easily find products with ingredients that are safer for their children and families.
- Workers learn how to protect their health and their communities using products with safer ingredients.
- People who simply do not have the time, financial resources, or support needed to learn English gain access to information on products with safer ingredients.
Safer Choice en español is our way of helping Spanish-speaking communities find products with safer chemical ingredients. Products must meet the Safer Choice Standard to be certified to carry the Safer Choice label. This means that every chemical, regardless of percentage, in Safer Choice-labeled products is evaluated by EPA scientists and must meet our rigorous health and environmental criteria. If you see the label on a product, you can be sure that it’s made with ingredients that are safer for families, pets, workplaces and the environment. In addition to chemical ingredients, Safer Choice-labeled products are evaluated for performance. This means they work. Also, surveys have found that institutional purchasers and consumers agree that Safer Choice-labeled products can be just as affordable as other products. Here’s a link to a survey by Consumer Reports.
I want to get all Spanish-speaking communities across the country to look for the Safer Choice label. So make sure to look for the Safer Choice label on products for your home and facilities. I know my father will.
To learn more about the label (in Spanish!), please visit Safer Choice en español at: https://espanol.epa.gov/saferchoice.
About the author: Claudia Menasche is an Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE) participant serving in EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. She has a background in Environmental Science and plans to focus her future studies and career on the intersection of science and policymaking.