Invitation to Partner and Worksheet to Evaluate Alternative Ingredients: A Note to Cleaning Chemical Formulators
A Note to Cleaning Chemical Formulators
Thank you for your interest in the Design for the Environment (DfE) Program's Formulator Initiative. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's DfE Program is a voluntary, partnership-based initiative that works directly with companies to integrate health and environmental considerations into business decisions.
The DfE Program invites cleaning chemical formulators to partner in the design of safer products. Our goal is to assist formulators in developing products with a more positive environmental profile. For DfE, products with a more positive environmental profile are those whose ingredients, when compared to conventional formulations, are less toxic, less persistent (i.e., they biodegrade faster), and less bioaccumulative (i.e., they do not tend to build up in living tissuehuman or animal), and whose ingredient byproducts have similar beneficial characteristics. We focus on advancing pollution prevention and limiting potential risk. The DfE motto: "If it's not in your product, then you don't have to worry about it!"
The first step in improving a product's environmental profile is to understand the characteristics of your current formulation. Knowing the environmental and human health attributes of your product's ingredients allows you to compare the profile of potential substitute ingredients and decide whether a switch might have a net health or environmental benefit. To help with this process, DfE offers the scientific and technical expertise of its formulator initiative team. EPA's scientists have reviewed and assessed thousands of chemicals and developed systems to predict chemical characteristics and toxicity in the absence of data. The formulator team can provide you with information on what is known and not known about the potential environmental and health effects of raw materials and additives.
To begin developing an environmental and human health profile of the ingredients you use, please complete the Formulator Ingredient Worksheet [PDF] (83KB). With it, DfE will prepare a preliminary assessment profile of your ingredients as a baseline for considering safer alternatives. We typically invite a potential partner to meet the DfE technical assessment team and discuss our findings. This meeting is also an opportunity to review the elements of partnership and begin crafting a memo of understanding. DfE will consider all information you provide to us proprietary and will handle it in a strictly confidential manner.
In addition to technical consultations with the EPA, a partner receives public recognition for formulation innovations and improvements that help protect health and the environment. DfE also helps extend recognition to partner customers, without whom the benefits of reformulation cannot be realized.