The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a new, modern Design for the Environment (DfE) logo that will appear on antimicrobial products like disinfectants and sanitizers within the next year. EPA’s DfE logo helps consumers and commercial buyers identify antimicrobial products that meet the health and safety standards of the normal pesticide registration process required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as well as other rigorous criteria required by the agency
“Protecting the health and safety of our families and our homes is central to EPA’s mission,” said Michal Freedhoff, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “EPA is excited to take the DfE program to the next level with a bold, new logo to further empower consumers to make environmentally and health-conscious buying decisions.”
To further EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment, in 2009, the DfE program began including products that sanitize and disinfect, including wipes and sprays used to treat surfaces like countertops, tubs, tile, and toilets. To qualify for the DfE logo, every ingredient in a product must meet a rigorous set of chemical and toxicological standards.
EPA has seen a surge of engagement in the last few years from consumers, schools, and other organizations who want to know more about how the products they use affect their health and the environment—and who are eager to make the most responsible purchasing choices they can. The updated logo released today should make DfE-certified products easier for purchasers to find, which in turn will encourage companies to seek certification for their products.
Companies who make products carrying the DfE logo have invested heavily in research and reformulation to ensure that their products meet the DfE certification requirements. Pursuing DfE certification provides an opportunity for companies to work toward their sustainability goals.
DfE products meet criteria that evaluate human health and environmental effects, product performance, packaging, and ingredients. The requirements are intended to:
- minimize any possible risks to human health by excluding ingredients that might have the potential to negatively impact young children, cause cancer, or have other negative effects;
- further protect fish and other aquatic life;
- minimize pollution of air or waterways and prevent harmful chemicals from being added to the land; and
- ensure products have no unresolved compliance, enforcement, or efficacy issues.
EPA does not consider the logo to be an endorsement. Similar to saying a pesticide is “EPA-registered” because EPA has found it meets the registration standard, the DfE logo indicates that the product has been reviewed and meets the FIFRA registration standard as well as the standards for the DfE program.
To learn about the process for seeking DfE certification for antimicrobial products, see EPA’s website.