What's  Inside: ;

 - What Can You Do? .
 - Success Stories
 - Contacts & Resources

 - EPA's Purchasing Tool
,  Suite
                             United States
                             Environmental Protection
                            Pollution Prevention
                            and Toxics
                 December 2001
  Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Guide
                             Greening  Your  Purchase  of

                             Cleaning  Products
                                  Cleaning products are necessary for killing germs and keeping the home and work-
                                  place in sanitary condition. But, cleaning products present several human health
                                  and environmental concerns. They may contain chemicals associated with eye,
                             skin, or respiratory irritation, and other human health issues. Additionally, the concen-
                             trated forms of many cleaning products are classified as hazardous waste, creating poten-
                             tial handling, storage, and disposal issues for users. Reducing these human health and
                             environmental effects is an important incentive for implementing an EPP cleaning prod-
                             ucts program.
                            Why  Green Your  Cleaning  Products?
 Environmental and Health
 •  Millions of tons, of cleaning products
   aft washed down drains every month.
   These* products' often contain toxic
  *   ' „ r ' /  ,"
  ^chemicals that can find their, way into
   drinking water-supplies or streams and
   lakes,/ '  •''?'•'  , ;
         r  "  ss f
 •  The Aettu^als <%rj. be. toj&,c to aquatic -
   plants and animals. Some of these
   A   ,, /?/  ,/  *' ? s s
   cherfttcals x(e,g., phosphates} can cause
   nuttient-lpadffig'iri water bodies, lead-
   ing to adverse effects <5n water -quality,
   flora, and fauna iji the area
              y/  /f
 *  General-purpose'cleaning products have .
   been^ shown to, Contribute approximate-
,^  !y 8 percent of total nonvehicular
;^', volatile Qrganic^co|np6₯nd (VOC) emis-
t '  .s^pns^irvCaluxirnia^jvhich contribute to
'' ', , /  /, ' ' fr/'tr?/S/ pgn3/mQre than 90 per-
                            ,/ '^cent,p|'tlie|r lif|fejnd0orsiihus, expo-
                             , sure,tpari9oor^yironfagntal hazards,
                            /> -haslecl^Q niajiy Health concerns.
                              ''/f ?/ ''»'''' 11    ,
                              , '< , ' '!'/' ,s  / ''', ' '   >/
                            Magnitude of Potential
                            Exposure /V, '/,-',,<'
                            •   Cleaning/prdducts'are the chemicals
                               most frequently iriyolyed in poisonings
   reported to Poison Centers nationally:
*  The cleaning industry employs two to
   three million janitors; but due to very
   high turn-over, even greater numbers of
   people are affected.             , :.

Benefits of Buying Green
*  Choosing less hazardous products can
<•  minimize harmful impacts to custodial
   workers, improve indoor air quality,
-  and reduce water pollution.      *..
*  Buying cleaners in concentrates atiH., „,
 '  returnable packaging reduces, packaging
   waste .                  ," „„.".
•  Buying less hazardous cleaners may
   reduce hazardous waste costs when it
   comes time'to properly dispose of any
   leftover cleaners „            ",*,',%
•  Switching from traditional cleaning
   products to biodegradable, Ipw-toxicity,
   or otherwise less harmful products can
   dramatically reduce the environmental
   impact of routine cleaning activities *
   without sacrificing cleaning effectiveness
*  §ome studies have suggested that
   improving indoor air quality in Work
   environments can improve'overall pro-
   ductivity by more than 8 percent.
  (Adapted from Green Seaft Choose Green Report)
                               rpritfteSori papeJ-^t contafps at least gp percent postconsumer fiber.

          It's  Policy
          The federal government has undertaken various initia-
          tives to mandate the consideration of the environment in
          purchasing decisions. A growing number of state and
          local governments also have implemented green purchas-
          ing policies or programs. In 1995,EPA^established the
          Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)' Program to ""
          encourage federal employees to consider a broad range of
         	gnvjrMrnental,facto,rs,,	such jsjeduced toxicity and lower
         	VOC content, in their purchasing decisions  In 1997, the
          Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which provides
          broad purchasing guidance to federal employees, was
          amended to support federal procurement  of "green" prod-
          ucts and services. In addition, executive agencies, under
          Executive Order 13101, have been directed_tp identify
          and give preference to the purchase of products and serv-
          ices that pose fewer environmental burdens.
                                              To help government purchasers incorporate environmental
                                              considerations into purchasing decisions, EPA developed
                                              five guiding principles. These five principles are:
                                              1. Include environmental considerations as part of the nor-
                                                 mal purchasing process.
                                              2. Emphasize pollution prevention early in the purchasing
                                              3. Examine multiple environmental attributes throughout a
                                                 product's or service's life cycle.
                                              4. Compare relative environmental impacts when selecting
                                                 products and services.
                                              5. Collect and base purchasing decisions on accurate and
                                                 meaningful information about environmental perform-
                                                 For more  information, go to the five guiding principles on
                                              EPA's EPP Web site at .
        What Can  You  Do?
        It can be challenging to evaluate the environmental attrib-
        utes of cleaners. Some companies have changed their mar-
        keting schemes to use words such as "environmentally
        friendly" or "natural" on their product labels, even when
        their products continue to contain hazardous chemicals. So
        how can you make an informed purchasing decision?
          Try this list of some of the attributes considered, in addi-
        tion to price and performance, by some organizations when
        selecting environmentally preferable cleaning products.
        Many organizations incorporate some of these attributes
        into their cleaning service contract specifications.  The list is
        arranged into simple lifecycle categories.
                                                    — Irritating artificial dyes and/or .fragrances.,    ':  ,   .
                                                    — Substances classified as known; or likely human    ,
                                                       carcinogens by authorities such as the National..  .
                                                       Toxicology Program, the U.S. EPA,.or the         ;
                                                       International Agency for Research on Cancer.; .'.:.•
                                                    — Ozone-depleting compounds, .   .   .  :
                                                    -— Chemicals listed under, the State of California's Safe.
                                                       Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act  ....    .
                                                       (Proposition 65) as causing reproductive toxicity.  . ;
                                                    — Regulated hazardous materials (e.g. products classi-
                                                       fied as hazardous waste; products that trigger
                                                       OSHA hazard communication requirements).
        Natural Resource Use                            product Packaging
        •  Avoidance of non-renewable resources, such as petrole-              •               fcf
    m	J urn- or hydrocarbon-based materials.*                   '  Concentrated formulas* ^
    "R^' Use of renewable resources, such as bio-based citrus,      '  Reduced Packaging
,,;	","',,,,	'""„"'	seed, vegetable, and pine oils.
        Manufacturing/Product Content
        M. . „; 	!«.,  •iiiii*«ii;]iiiCiiiiiii!iii!Bi!!!!iiii!iMSiSiii^;*-'*   ,T              ,..n	„ ,, ,-,
        used in
                                                   Packaging designed to reduce exposure to product
                                                   TScycled-content packaging
         !ave applied these critefiaito substances   _m^.^.-.^±:::;±;:;:i      .,   ,,-""       i
         4	it,,,,.,,	„„	„„„	._»,_-_>..	~      .„....,._ Pump sprays rather than aerosols
         uringprocess as well as the, final product.    'iii^.s&Jyrfaaw,.         r
•IHWr"-	;	"j	:	::l^ii»^             	::--«-;	•*«        *c;; Products -shipped m bulk
fS||y's environmental policy and reputation.            '  •-••••••••-••
   of potentially
                                                                                                              .4, '/



 Commonwealth  of Massachusetts
 Contains extensive details/>n the process Massachusetts used
 to identify environmentally preferable cleaning products. It
 includes the actual specifications, Massachusetts' environmen-
 tal ratings for specific products, and product pricing informa-
 tion provided by the vendors. The Web site address is

 State of Minnesota
 Provides comprehensive information on the process Minnesota
 used to evaluate the environmental preferability of cleaning
 products. Also includes links to and information about other
 related resources. For more information, go to

 King County, Washington
 Includes excerpts from the county's 1996 environmentally
 preferable cleaning specifications. The site also* includes links
 to other useful cleaning product resourcesx For more-itforma-r
 tion, visit . '     '    */   '  ,*',"  '   ,(l   ^  •
                                             / /   f

 Janitorial  Products Pollution .Prevention
 Project                                /
 Contains a series of helpful tools/including information qn. the
 risks associated witb/more  than 100 .cleaning product ingredi-
 ents, a list of high-risk products, and nsk.evalu^tion^forms. ^ /
 The  site also includes a series 'of.fact sheets tegnligMnglhe "
 pollution prevention opportunities associated with cleaning
 products, includfng recommendations about which ch,emicals^
 to avoidvlt alsp^ontains_ information on A "4^hout workshop
 entitled, "How 50 Select atid'JBfse-Safe janitorial Products," 'Find,
 information on the project" at '  "   ""f   "  ' , '
 . /'x  ?.    '
                        ''''-•     ','',,'<',  ',''.'<,'
 U.S. General Services Administration
 Cleaning Products Catalog
 Provides environmental attribute information on cleaning
 products available through the U.S. General Services '
 Administration, one of the federal government's priniary sup- *
 pliers. For more information, go to         ' ', ' ^ ''
 Green Seat  f      /       '  J  '   /', ,-  >,
 Contains Green Seal's 'envirorihiental pfeferabihty Standards for
 household cleaning produc,tsf as well as 'industrial and'instim- "
 tional cleaners. The Web site also includeSxthe Cfioose &reen
 Report on Industrial and Institutional Cleaners, whicrtrecom-
 mends 38 products from 21 companies that meet Green Seal
 standards^ Visit  fgr'naof^informatton.

 Washington Toxics Coalition
 An organization dedicated to protecting public health and the
 environment by promoting alternatives to toxic chemicals
 This Web- site provides information about pollution prevention
 and includes publications^ topics, and upcoming events. Visit
 -watoxics,org> for more information.

   For additional' information on environmentally preferable
 cleaning products, contact Jim Parr pf EPA at 202 564'8841,
 or by e-mail at  ,
 EPA's  Purchasing  Tool Suite
EPAs EPP Program has developed the following Web-based tools
to help purchasers consider the environment, along with price
and performance, when buying a product or service.

Cleaning Product Attributes Ranking Tool — An interactive tool
that helps the user choose a greener cleaning product by priori-
tizing environmental attributes (e.g., skin irritation potential,
VOCs, recycled packaging).     •.          •  .   .

Database of Environmental Information for Products and
Services — A searchable database of product-specific informa-
tion (e.g., environmental standards and guidelines or contract
language) developed by government programs, both domestic
and foreign, as well as third parties.
Promising Practices Guide for Greener Contracts —• A series
of short case studies highlighting successful strategies for
incorporating environmental factors into a variety of product
and service contracts.

General EPP Training Tool — Covers basic EPP principles
and mandates, along with some more in-depth applications of
EPP, in an entertaining and multimedia format.

 — Tips to help government credit card holders make greener
choices when buying products, such as cleaning products.

Success  Stories
  The City of Santa Monica, California
  Santa Monica's green cleaning product purchases have
  eliminated the purchase of 3,200 pounds of hazardous
  materials annually. This translates into a saving of
  approximately 5 percent of annual spending on cleaning
  products when compared with the traditional products it
  was purchasing. The city's Web site includes a copy of
  Santa Monica's custodial products bid specifications,
  which many other purchasers have used as a basis for
  their own specifications. Go to Santa Monica's Web site at
  , or visit the EPP
  Program's case study on the city's success at .

  Perrigo, a mid-sized company and the leading manufac-
  turer of generic and "store brand" pharmaceuticals and
  personal care products, is saving more than $35,000
  annually after switching to green cleaning products.
  While part of the reported savings can be attributed to
  the fact that some green cleaning products are less expen-
  sive than the traditional ones, most of the reported and
  anticipated savings appear to result from new bulk pur-
  chasing opportunities, fewer workers compensation
  claims, and rising employee productivity. For more infor-
  mation, visit the EPP Program's case study, Private Sector
  Pioneers, at .

  The National Park Service
  The National Park Service (NPS) used to buy more than
   130 different cleaning products but has switched to a
  family of products it considers environmentally prefer-
  able. It now buys only 15 products. Purchasing a smaller
  number of products allows NPS to buy products in
      fater volumes and at a bigger discount than purchasing
      ill'quantities of a large number of different products.
 u	*ii«:-S	'-" "i»

   Department of Interior Headquarters
""''!; The Department of the Interior (DOI) initiated^ contract
^for custpdiafgr^ces(iusing environmentally preferable
 '.'.	cleaning products and supplies. DOI identified environ-
 '"' mental attributes for the products that had to  be met or
'"''' exceeded "in Wfler "to be considered. DOI also  has used
                Environmental Standard -for industrial
the Green Se
                                                     Institutional Cleaners, GS-37. 'For .more information, visit'
                                                     the Web site at                   •  •••'.•         ,
                                                     City of Richmond, California
                                                     Janitorial contractors in Richmond, California, are  :    : :.
                                                     expecting the switch to green cleaning products to reduce
                                                     worker compensation claims. According to a study con-
                                                     ducted by a consultant to the city, a cleaning chemical.
                                                     accident requiring, medical treatment costs an average ;ofj.
                                                     $615 per incident, excluding long-term disability.costs. :
                                                     The study also' reveals that one out of every- 100 janitors  .
                                                     has reported work-related injuries attributable; to  the'   ,'
                                                     cleaning products they use. The project team believes the
                                                     actual number of incidents, however, is, :six injuries'per ,-:
                                                     100 janitors, because many people are: reluctant to report
                                                     injuries, fearing disciplinary measures. •.. : .:  ';.' y:; ';;..'..-
                                                       By switching to less toxic cleaning; products, contrac-
                                                     tors in Richmond expect to reduce the number of inci-
                                                     dents, their severity, and the cost per incident. The con-  ,.
                                                     tractors anticipate that worker compensation insurance
                                                     costs might'decrease because the insurance premiums.'are
                                                     based on the number and severity of claims. In;.addition,  :
                                                     if the contractors make all the potential changes available
                                                     to them,  their use of hazardous materials will drop by
                                                     3,000 pounds per year. 'Finally, several purchasers have
                                                     noted that the lower VOC content and reduced toxicity
                                                     of green cleaning products help improve overall indoor
                                                     air quality. This affects all employees, not just the janitor-
                                                     ial staff, and could boost employee productivity, cut
                                                     absenteeism, and promote the general well being of
                                                     building  occupants.

                                                     And more...
                                                     Other.green cleaning product purchasers such as Ben &
                                                     Jerry's; King County, Washington; the Commonwealth of
                                                     . Massachusetts; and the states of Minnesota and Vermont
                                                     also have/reduced environmental impacts by purchasing
                                                     cleaning  products each has determined to be environ-
                                                            0  r                     <*=L,v ,.
                                                     mentally preterable
                                                       As these green  pioneers have continued to demon-  .
                                                     .strate, purchasing cleaning products with reduced envi-
                                                    . ronmental impacts has significant advantages. From
                                                     improving environmental perforrnance to saving money,
                                                     green cleaning products can outshine the competition.
        ;  •• 8&r

      As information about the risks posed by some clean-
      ing products has emerged, consumers have begun to
      explore opportunities to use less harmful products.
      As a result, the industry has begun to produce new
      products that are less harmful to human health and
      the environment. These environmentally preferable
cleaners are gradually becoming more widely available from
vendors, distributors, and catalogs (see the "Contacts and
Resources" section).

Many of the users of these new products report that per-
formance is equal to,  or even superior to, conventional
products. However, when soliciting vendor proposals, per-
formance issues should be addressed directly in the specifi-
                                                        cations for cleaning products. Since improper use can affect
                                                        the performance of cleaners, vendors should be required to
                                                        provide training to maintenance staff on the proper use of
                                                        their products.
                                                         iHF Products that appear to be priced higher than a tra-
                                                         '**»**  ditional cleaner may actually be less expensive to
                                                               use when the full cost of using standard products is
                                                               considered. Such costs include worker training,
                                                               environmental and workplace regulations, and left-
                                                              over product disposal. If you buy cleaners with
                                                        less-hazardous components, you can reduce these costs.
                                                        Furthermore, concentrated products that have a higher
                                                        purchase price may actually be cheaper to use when prop-
                                                        erly diluted. To make accurate price comparisons, assess
                                                        the cost-per-application, not the cost-per-volume.
Product Use
•  Acute toxicity—usually defined in terms of a single dose or
   short-term air concentration that can cause lethality
•  Effects on air quality (VOC content).
•  Chronic toxicity (includes a wide variety of adverse effects
   that can result from long-term exposure to a substance).
•  Corrosiveness (pH).
•  Flashpoint (a higher flashpoint indicates a lower potential
   for flammability/combustibility; liquids with a flashpoint
   below  100 degrees F are considered flammable).
•  Likelihood of exposure to concentrate.
•  Skin and eye irritation potential.
•  Effective with cold water instead of hot, which will help
                                        «,& y<-<, -• ^^. «~f  j,*$,sf*-* 5.  f
   reduce energy use.                    "-"* *-*_ 'A,(-Jt f, '•'
Product Disposal
   Aquatic toxicity.
   Biodegradability.     >'.„..,„
   Hazardous waste classification (is^dae product considered a
   RCRA hazardous waste by one ormqire cHteSria, e,.g: acute
   toxicity, corrosivity, etc.?).         •  ,••,.•  .  .*  2'
*More  Information...
•  The consumption of petroleum, a non-renewable resource,
   to be used for energy during manufacture and/or as a prod-
   uct component, can serve as an indicator of acid ram, cli-
   mate change potential, air pollution, and associated human
   health risks, as well as risks to endangered species and
   fragile ecosystems
•  Choose pump-spray containers instead of aerosols.
   Pressurized aerosol products are usually high in VOC con-
   tent. Aerosol propellants often produce a finer mist, so the
   product can more easily be inhaled by workers. Aerosol
   containers may be hazardous to workers if punctured.
   Also, any hazardous product left in an aerosol container
   makes the entire container a regulated hazardous waste,
   which means more expensive disposal.
  . In general, concentrated formulas are preferred because
   they reduce the amount of packaging and the amount of
   energy used in shipping the product. However, concentraj:-
   ed products can p1p|nFhazard issues that must be
   addressed .tQ^^gS^fcy^S^^a^t^jrj^jpfoper disposal.  -
  - Disinfectant products serve an important function in cer-
   tain areSl" However,, many ofjhese products can present
   health of ecological concerns. Disinfectant products should
   be lifnitedto applications^wliere it is important to control
   mfeet'ious^|"g«hits. Many'types* of general purpose cleaning
  • do not require 'the use of disinfectants.

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