Ashkin Foresees Greater Transparency of Cleaning Chemical Ingredients


By Robert Kravitz, The Ashkin Group

Steve Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group, believes greater transparency of cleaning chemicals, including green cleaning chemicals, is anticipated and that we are likely to see a reflection of this at the upcoming ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America tradeshow in Las Vegas.

Image source: cc license healthserviceglasses/Flickr

A growing segment of both commercial and residential customers are insisting that manufacturers disclose more information about the ingredients in their cleaning products, typically referred to as material disclosure.

Their desire is to help end users better understand all the environmental, safety, and health characteristics of products before they select them.

“This applies to green cleaning chemicals as well,” says Ashkin. “No more is it enough to post a green ‘certification label’ on a product. Users also want to know what’s inside as well.”

There are several reasons this trend is developing and picking up speed, according to Ashkin. Among them:

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now “declassifying” and publishing the ingredients of a variety of chemicals, citing the need to protect “America’s health via increased access to chemical information.”
  • The REACH program in Europe requires manufacturers to provide extensive environmental and safety data on a product’s ingredients.
  • New York State now has a regulatory process requiring the disclosure of ingredients used in household and commercial cleaning products.

“Even Wal-Mart is getting into the picture,” says Ashkin. “They are taking a more sustainable, holistic approach [by] requiring suppliers to provide it with information relevant to energy, ingredients, and natural resources used
in the products they sell.”

Ashkin suggests attendees to the upcoming ISSA tradeshow look for more material disclosure information on products “and if they don’t see it, ask the manufacturer about it. This is a health and environmental issue whose time has come.”