Safer Choice Now in Spanish

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.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

A Safer Choice for Spring Cleaning

by Mindee Osno

Healthy Choices

In my house, once winter is over, it’s spring cleaning time. I’m not alone, nearly three-quarters of American families are planning some sort of spring cleaning. This spring, I’m going to look for cleaning products that carry EPA’s Safer Choice label.

“What is the Safer Choice label?” you may ask.

EPA spent over a year collecting ideas and discussing options with partners and consumers to create a label that makes it easier to find cleaning products which meet EPA’ requirements for protecting human health and the environment. Today, almost 500 partner companies and more than 2,000 products currently qualify to carry the Safer Choice label.

The Safer Choice label gives consumers assurance that EPA scientists have evaluated every ingredient in products that carry the label to ensure they meets Safer Choice’s stringent criteria, and helps choose less toxic products – including all-purpose cleaners, kitchen and bath cleansers, carpet and fabric shampoos, laundry detergents, car and boat care products, and deck and siding washes – that are safer for our families, our workplaces, and our waterways too!

In addition to safer ingredients, EPA’s Safer Choice standard also includes requirements for performance, packaging, pH, and limiting volatile organic compounds or VOCs.

To learn more about Safer Choice, visit EPA’s website. There, you’ll find a list of Safer Choice products, and answers to frequently asked questions. Happy spring cleaning!

 

About the author: Mindee Osno has worked for EPA Region 3 in Philadelphia since 1991. She has been working on Pollution Prevention and Sustainability efforts in the Land and Chemicals Division since 2008.  Prior to that, Mindee was the regional ENERGY STAR Program Manager for over 10 years.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Good News for our Health at Home: Safety Sells

Gina McCarthy Gina McCarthy

By Gina McCarthy

Last spring, EPA unveiled a new label to help consumers make informed choices about the products they use at home.

Today, hundreds of products with the Safer Choice label are on store shelves at major retailers in all 50 states. We’re starting with household cleaners and laundry detergents, and will soon expand the label to a wider range of other cleaners, car and yard-care products, and do-it-yourself items like coatings and adhesives.

The name says it all: the Safer Choice label can help you find cleaning products that are made with ingredients that are safer for you, your kids, your pets and the environment. EPA scientists use a strict set of health and safety standards when reviewing products to allow them into them Safer Choice program. So consumers can trust that any product with the Safer Choice label is backed by EPA science.

So far, feedback has been spectacular. Last summer, Consumer Reports released survey data showing that nearly half of American consumers would be willing to pay more for safer products.

But the great news is… they don’t have to.

A price comparison study found that Safer Choice products are cost-competitive – most often costing about the same as cleaners without the label, and sometimes – costing even less.

And in marketing studies, some manufacturers have found that the label isn’t just informative, it’s attractive to consumers – leading many companies to move the label front and center on their product packaging.

The point is – consumers want to make informed choices about the products they’re bringing into their homes, and around their kids and pets. And companies know that developing and selling safer products is good for business. When they demonstrate a commitment to the health of their customers and the planet, consumers respond.

Already, more than 500 manufacturers make products with the Safer Choice label – and new companies are seeking to join the program in force.

Here’s some more good news. Not only does the Safer Choice program put the power of choice into the hands of consumers, it actually incentivizes manufacturers to change the ingredients in their products – so they can meet the strict safety criteria the Safer Choice label demands.

That means more products made with ingredients that are safer on store shelves, and less harmful chemicals in households across America.

So keep your eye out for the Safer Choice label when you’re out shopping.

You can visit EPA’s interactive map to find Safer Choice products that can be used in your own community — at schools, stadiums, homes, and businesses near you.

And in case you missed it, my dog Emma joined me in debuting the new Safer Choice label last year. Check out the video below.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

This Spring, Look for the Safer Choice Label

Gina McCarthy Gina McCarthy

Today, we’re unveiling a new Safer Choice label, which will make it easier to find household cleaners and other home products that are safer, more environmentally friendly—and still get the job done. If you missed the video where I shared the new label, check it out here:

The name says it all: Safer Choice products are safer for you, your kids, your pets and the environment. Our scientists employ a stringent set of human health and environmental safety standards when reviewing products for the Safer Choice program, so a product with the label is backed by EPA science. Consumers know it’s a credible stamp they can trust.

Safer Choice products are a winning idea for the companies that make them, too. Major producers and retailers like Clorox, Walmart, Jelmar/CLR, Earth Friendly Products, Bissel, Wegmans, and hundreds of others have agreed to start putting Safer Choice products on the shelves this year.

These companies know that developing and selling safer products is good for business. When they demonstrate a commitment to the health of their customers and the planet, consumers respond. This spring and summer, products will start to carry the Safer Choice label, and we expect many more will be added over the coming months and years.

So look for products with the Safer Choice label in stores later this spring. I’m looking forward to using them in my home.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.