Attachment B

Summary of Green Certification Programs


The following provides a summary of the certification programs that are part of the Safer Chemical Management SOP – Green Seal, GREENGUARD, and Environmental Choice. Additional programs may be added to the SOP in the future if the programs include the high level of environmental and safety requirements found in the three programs summarized below. 


Adopting the Safer Chemical Management Policy and Standard Operating Procedure will allow the County to minimize chemical usage thereby improving both safety and environmental protection.  For instance, by changing to the Environmental Choice certified flooring system, approximately 4,400 pounds of sludge from floor stripping will be avoided each year.  The sludge represents the average weight of stripper and old floor finish removed from the floor.  With traditional systems, this sludge could contain chemical components that are non-biodegradable, including VOCs, styrene, urethanes and zinc. 


By minimizing the amount of pesticide usage, the Chesapeake Bay will benefit from reduced chemical contamination.  Chemical contaminants are constantly entering the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries through wastewater, stormwater and air pollution.  Stormwater runoff from urban and suburban areas carries residue from roadways, agricultural lands and other contaminated areas to local streams and storm drains.  Of the 50 major tributaries that flow into the Bay, just three deliver about 80 percent of the fresh water, with the James River contributing 14%.


Green Seal™ Certification



Founded in 1989, Green Seal™ provides science-based environmental certification standards that are credible, transparent, and essential in an increasingly educated and competitive marketplace. Our industry knowledge and standards help manufacturers, purchasers, and end users alike make responsible choices that positively impact business behavior and improve quality of life. A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, Green Seal issued its first environmental standards in 1991-2, and the first product certifications were completed in 1992. Hundreds of products and services from major companies such as 3M, Benjamin Moore, and Andersen Windows have now been certified to meet Green Seal™ standards, and the number of major product categories covered by standards has increased to more than 40.

GS-37 is the Green Seal™ Environmental Standard for General-Purpose, Bathroom, Glass, and Carpet Cleaners Used for Industrial and Institutional Purposes.

GS-37 Product-Specific Health and Environmental Requirements:

·         4.1 Toxic Compounds

The undiluted product shall not be toxic to humans. Dispensing-system concentrates shall be tested as used. A product is considered toxic if any of the following criteria apply:

Oral lethal dose 50 (LD50 ) < 2,000 mg/kg

Inhalation lethal concentration (LC50 ) < 20 mg/L*

* If the vapor-phase concentration of the product at room temperature is less than 20 mg/L, it should be tested at its saturation concentration. If it is not toxic at this concentration, it passes the inhalation criterion.

Toxicity shall be measured on the product as a whole. Alternatively, a mixture need not be tested if existing toxicity information demonstrates that each of the ingredients complies. Ingredients that are nonvolatile do not require inhalation toxicity testing (Appendix A). It is assumed that the toxicity of the individual component compounds are weighted and summed and that there are not synergistic effects (Appendix A).

The toxicity testing procedures should meet the requirements put forth by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Testing of Chemicals. These protocols include Acute Oral Toxicity Test (TG 401), Acute Inhalation Toxicity Test (TG 403), and Acute Dermal Toxicity Test (TG 402).

·         4.2 Carcinogens and Reproductive Toxins

The undiluted product shall not contain any ingredients that are carcinogens or that are known to cause reproductive toxicity. Carcinogens are defined as those chemicals listed as known, probable, or possible human carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the National Toxicology Program (NTP), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Chemicals known to cause reproductive toxicity are defined as those listed by the State of California under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 2, Subdivision 1, Chapter 3, Sections 1200, et seq.).

Naturally occurring elements and chlorinated organics, which may be present as a result of chlorination of the water supply, are not considered ingredients if the concentrations are below the applicable maximum contaminant levels in the National Primary Drinking Water Standards found in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 141.

·         4.3 Skin and Eye Irritation

The undiluted product shall not be corrosive to the skin or eyes. Dispensing-system concentrates shall be tested as used. The undiluted cleaning product shall not be corrosive to the skin, as tested using the Human Skin Construct systems (Liebsch et al. 2000; Fentem et al. 1998). The undiluted cleaning product shall also not be corrosive to the eye as tested using the bovine opacity and permeability test (BCOP) (Sina et al. 1995) after a 10-minute exposure. Green Seal will also accept the results of other peer-reviewed or standard in vitro or in vivo test methods demonstrating that the product mixture is not corrosive.

·         4.4 Skin Sensitization

The undiluted product shall not be a skin sensitizer, as tested by the OECD Guidelines for Testing Chemicals, Section 406. Dispensing-system concentrates shall be tested as used. Green Seal shall also accept the results of other standard test methods, such as those described in Buehler (1994) or Magnusson and Kligman (1969), as proof that the product or its ingredients are not skin sensitizers.

·         4.5 Combustibility

The undiluted product shall not be combustible. The product or 99% by volume of the product ingredients shall have a flashpoint above 150 °F, as tested using either the Cleveland Open Cup Tester (ASTM D92-97) or a closed-cup method International Standards Organization (ISO) 13736 or ISO 2719. Alternatively, the product shall not sustain a flame when tested using ASTM D 4206.

·         4.6 Photochemical Smog, Tropospheric Ozone Production, and Indoor Air Quality

The product as used shall not contain substances that contribute significantly to the production of photochemical smog, tropospheric ozone, or poor indoor-air quality. The volatile organic content of the product as used shall not exceed the following


• 0.1% by weight for dilutable carpet cleaners


• 1% by weight for general-purpose and bathroom cleaners


• 3% by weight for glass cleaners


• 3% by weight for ready-to-use carpet cleaners

The volatile organic content shall be determined by California Air Resources Board Method 310.


·         4.7 Toxicity to Aquatic Life

The product as used shall not be toxic to aquatic life. A compound is considered not toxic to aquatic life if it meets one or more of the following criteria:

Acute LC50 for algae, daphnia, or fish >100 mg/L

For purposes of demonstrating compliance with this requirement, aquatic toxicity testing is not required if sufficient aquatic toxicity data exist for each of the product’s ingredients to demonstrate that the product mixture complies. Aquatic toxicity tests shall follow the appropriate protocols in ISO 7346.2 for fish and in 40 CFR 797, Subpart B for other aquatic organisms.

·         4.8 Aquatic Biodegradability

Each of the organic ingredients in the product as used shall exhibit ready biodegradability in accordance with the OECD definition except for a FIFRA-registered ingredient in a bathroom cleaner and the polymer portion of a carpet cleaner. However, all other ingredients in a FIFRA-registered bathroom cleaner or carpet cleaner must comply. Biodegradability shall be measured by one of the following methods: ISO 9439 carbon dioxide (CO2) evolution test, ISO 10708 (two-phase closed-bottle test), ISO 10707 (closed bottle test), or ISO 7827 (dissolved organic carbon removal). Specifically, within a 28-day test, the ingredient shall meet one of the following criteria within 10 days of the time when biodegradation first reaches 10%:

Removal of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) > 70% Biological oxygen demand (BOD) > 60% % of BOD of theoretical oxygen demand (ThOD) > 60% % CO2 evolution of theoretical > 60%


For organic ingredients that do not exhibit ready biodegradability in these tests, the manufacturer may demonstrate biodegradability in sewage treatment plants using the Coupled Units Test found in OECD 303A by demonstrating dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removal > 90%.

Testing is not required for any ingredient for which sufficient information exists concerning its biodegradability, either in peer-reviewed literature or databases or proving that the ingredient was tested in accordance with standard test procedures.

·         4.9 Eutrophication

The product as used shall not contain more than 0.5% by weight of total phosphorus.

·         4.10 Packaging

The primary package shall be recyclable. Alternatively, manufacturers may provide for returning and refilling of their packages. An exception may be made for lightweight flexible packaging (e.g., pouches or bags) that represents a significant reduction in material use when compared with rigid packaging.

·         4.11 Concentrates

The product must be a concentrate, except for FIFRA-registered bathroom cleaners and absorbent compound carpet cleaners.

·         4.12 Fragrances

Manufacturers shall identify any fragrances on their material safety data sheets (MSDSs). Any ingredient added to a product as a fragrance must follow the Code of Practice of the International Fragrance Association.

·         4.13 Prohibited Ingredients

The product shall not contain the following ingredients:

• Alkylphenol ethoxylates

• Dibutyl phthalate

• Heavy metals including arsenic, lead, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, mercury, nickel, or selenium

• Ozone-depleting compounds

• Optical brighteners     



GREENGUARD Certification




The mission of GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is to improve public health and quality of life through programs that improve indoor air.  In accordance with that mission, GEI currently has three third-party certification programs.


GREENGUARD Certification Standards for Low-Emitting Products
GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) has established performance-based standards to define goods with low chemical and particle emissions for use indoors, primarily building materials, interior furnishings, furniture, cleaning and maintenance products, electronic equipment, and personal care products. The standard establishes certification procedures including test methods, allowable emissions levels, product sample collection and handling, testing type and frequency, and program application processes and acceptance. 


GREENGUARD Children & Schools Product Certification Program complies with the State of California’s Department of Health Services Standard Practice (CA Section 01350) for testing chemical emissions from building products used in schools.  As such, GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certified products can be used as a strategy to earn valuable credits in the CHPS Best Practices Manual for K-12 schools.

GREENGUARD Emission Criteria For Children & Schools
Requirements to be met at 168 hours (7 days) with no preconditioning.

Individual VOCs1 1/100 TLV and ½ CA chronic REL
Formaldehyde2 0.0135 ppm/13.5 ppb
Total VOCs3 0.22 mg/m³
Total Aldehydes4 0.043 ppm/43 ppb
Total Phthalates5  0.01 mg/m³
Total Particles6 (10 µm)  0.02 mg/m³
1 Any VOC not listed must produce an air concentration level no greater than 1/100 the Threshold Limit Value (TLV) industrial workplace standard (Reference: American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists, 6500 Glenway, Bldg D-7, Cincinnati, OH 45211-4438) and/or no greater than 1/2 the CA Chronic Reference Exposure Level (CREL)
( - (CRELS) Adopted by the State of California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), February 2005).

Formaldehyde criteria established so that emission levels reach 0.014ppm (13.5ppb) within 14 days of installation (meeting CA 1350 requirements).

Defined to be the total response of measured VOCs falling within the C6-C16 range, with responses calibrated to a toluene surrogate.

Defined to be the total response of a specific target list of aldehydes (2-butenal; acetaldehyde; benzaldehyde; 2,5-dimethylbenzaldehyde; 2-methylbenzaldehyde; 3-and/or 4-methylbenzaldehyde; butanal; 3-methylbutanal; formaldehyde; hexanal; pentanal; propanal), with each individually calibrated to a compound specific standard.
5 Defined to be the total response of a specific target list of phthalates including dibutyl (DBP), diethylhexyl (DEHD), diethyl (DEP), butylbenzyl (BBP), di-octyl (DOP), and dimethyl (DMP) phthalates (conducted using a modified phthalate specific analytical method, OSHA 104).
6 Particles applicable to fibrous, particle-releasing products with exposed surface area in air streams (a forced air test with specific test method).



Environmental Choice



Established in 1988, the program helps consumers identify products and services that are less harmful to the environment. A product or service may be certified because it is made or offered in a way that improves energy efficiency, reduces hazardous by-products, uses recycled materials or because the product itself can be reused. Product manufacturers, importers or purveyors of services may apply for a license to use the Eco-Logo once a guideline containing criteria relevant to the product or service type has been approved. Environmental Choice guidelines are based on the best information available at the time and are upgraded as new information and technology make higher standards possible. Guidelines are developed in consultation with industry, environmental groups, universities and independent technical and scientific advisors.

Currently, Environmental Choice has more than 1400 approved products, with 119 licensees and 29 guidelines under which companies may be licensed and their products certified. The EcoLogo Program certifies and recognizes products and services that are environmentally preferable. It develops and promotes higher standards of environmental performance against which products and services can be assessed. These higher standards are called “Certification Criteria Documents” (or CCDs) and contain the exact environmental and performance requirements an applicant must meet to become EcoLogo certified.

The development of EcoLogo certification criteria is a multi-step process involving purchasers, environmental groups, industry, consumers and consumer groups, academia, government, and other interested groups. As a “Type I ecolabel” (as defined by the International Organization for Standardization in the standard ISO 14024), criteria are developed using a life-cycle approach, meaning all stages of the process - from raw material extraction through production to the final disposal of the product - are evaluated. EcoLogo is North America’s only ecolabel to successfully be assessed against ISO 4024 by the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN), making EcoLogo a valuable, trustworthy and globally recognized multi-attribute label.

The criteria development and review process is scientifically rigorous and robust, and guided by the principles of transparency and openness. The process begins with a critical evaluation of the environmental profile of the product/service type of interest. Stakeholder input during the criteria development process and public consultation on draft criteria constitute a large part of the development process, and are essential to the Program’s success.


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