Green Seal Releases New Standards for Sustainable Laundry Products for the Home and For Industrial and Institutional Use

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Green Seal™, the nation’s oldest non-profit environmental certification organization, announces the publication of two new standards to address the life cycle impacts of laundry care products - GS-48, for household laundry care products, and GS-51, for laundry products used in institutional and industrial settings.

Green Seal™, the nation’s oldest non-profit environmental certification organization, announces the publication of two new standards to address the life cycle impacts of laundry care products - GS-48, for household laundry care products, and GS-51, for laundry products used in institutional and industrial settings.

Traditional laundry products are significant contributors to water pollution, and both manufacturers and users risk exposure to harmful chemicals through inhalation and skin contact.

To receive certification under GS-48 or GS-51, laundry products cannot contain any components that are carcinogens, reproductive toxins, mutagens, neurotoxins/systemic toxins, endocrine disruptors, asthmagens, and respiratory and skin sensitizers. Certified products must not cause skin corrosion or eye damage.

In addition to minimizing or eliminating the toxic ingredients often found in these products, GS-48 and GS-51 provide important benchmarks in terms of product concentration in order to reduce the overall environmental impact.

A 50-ounce bottle of a leading laundry detergent weighs less than four pounds and can wash 32 loads. The un-concentrated 100-ounce predecessor can wash the same 32 loads but weighs more than seven pounds.* Concentrated products are beneficial because they require less packaging, contain less water, require fewer pallets and fewer trucks for transport, and require less space for storage.

Specifically, GS-51, referring to Industrial and Institutional products, provides an important benchmark in terms of product concentration. The standard establishes minimum requirements for concentrated (2X) and ultra-concentrated (4X) detergents and fabric softeners.

Both of the new Green Seal standards also focus on product performance. Certified products must demonstrate that they perform as well as conventional laundry care products. GS-48, referring to products for household use, requires products to perform as well in cold water, thereby vastly reducing the energy needed for the wash process, and reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

About 80 percent of the environmental impact of these products occurs during usage, so the standard requires that labels recommend using the proper amount, washing at the lowest possible temperature, and washing a full load.

GS-48 covers more than 17 categories of laundry care products including detergents, stain removers, bleaches, fabric care products like fabric softeners, anti-static, as well as anti-wrinkle products and starch. The standard is designed to make it easier for consumers to identify household laundry care products that meet the highest levels of sustainability available in the market today.

GS-51 covers more than 20 categories of products for conventional laundry and dry cleaning, including detergents, prewash products, and spot removers; additives such as alkali boosters; and fabric care products such as anti-static treatment, starches, and fabric softeners, and is offered to manufacturers as a way to recognize leaders in the industry, and to give purchasers a way to identify safer, more environmentally preferable institutional laundry products.

More information about GS-48 and GS-51, including certification tools, application information, and the standards can be downloaded for free at http://www.GreenSeal.org.

About Green Seal
The original “Green Seal of Approval” was founded in 1989 to help safeguard the health of people and the planet. As an independent, science-based standards developer and certification body, Green Seal identifies products and services that are environmentally responsible, and provides public education for creating a more sustainable world. Call (202)872-6400 for more information, or visit http://www.GreenSeal.org for links to all Green Seal standards and certified products and services.

*Consumer Reports 2012 Laundry Detergent Buyers Guide

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Bill Daddi
Green Seal
(646) 370-1341
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