Washington, D.C., May 11, 2011 — Green Seal, Inc., a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to safeguard health and the environment, and recognized as the original “green seal of approval,” is introducing standards for certification of soaps and shower products, personal care and cosmetic products.
The new standards are the first in the U.S. to comprehensively address the health, safety and environmental concerns of products in those categories.
GS-44 for Soaps and Shower Products and GS-50 for Personal Care Products and Cosmetics are lifecycle based, covering more than just “natural” and “organic” attributes. In addition to environmental requirements for issues such as aquatic toxicity, biodegradability and packaging, they establish criteria for health and safety concerns as well, prohibiting carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, formaldehyde, parabens and phthalates, among other health hazards.
The standards also require disclosure for all product ingredients and definitions for common claims such as “natural,” “organic” and “bio-based.” Additionally, products certified to the standards must meet performance requirements to ensure that compliance with environmental, health and safety standards do not result in a sacrifice of product quality.
GS-44 covers hand, hair and body soaps and cleansers used and rinsed after use, including soaps, shampoos, conditioners and related shower products for baby, child, adult and professional use.
GS-50 is for products intended to be left on the body and hair including, but not limited to, lotions, hair spray and styling products, sunscreen, nail polish, insect repellant, makeup, antiperspirant and deodorant.
The standards provide tools that manufacturers can freely download and use to improve their products, and to validate those improvements through certification. And the standards provide a guide for consumers to know that their favorite products are safer, greener, and perform as well as they should.
“The Soap and Shower Products and Personal Products and Cosmetics categories have been the focus of much consumer concern in relation to the environmental and health impacts of ingredients and manufacturing processes used,” says Dr. Arthur Weissman, President & CEO of Green Seal. “It was imperative then that Green Seal develop standards that address these concerns and make it possible for consumers to identify those products that have been independently certified to have less impact.”
Certification allows manufacturers to feature the Green Seal – an eco-label that that assures a product is safer for health and the environment, awarded by an independent third party. The upcoming release of the new FTC Green Guides for Environmental Marketing Claims will likely result in more scrutiny of claims made on products and how the claims are substantiated. As information about the basis of the claims becomes more transparent, independent verification will be key.
The evaluation process includes review of data; assessment of labeling, marketing and promotional materials; and an on-site audit of manufacturing facilities. Annual monitoring is also conducted for those awarded the Green Seal to ensure continued compliance.
About Green Seal, Inc.
Green Seal is a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 with the mission of safeguarding human health and the environment. Green Seal is a science-based standard development and certification body that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute. Products only become Green Seal-certified after rigorous testing and evaluations, including on-site audits. For additional information or to contact Green Seal Inc., call (202)872-6400 or visit www.greenseal.org.