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Green Seal Issues New Cleaner Standard

September 02, 2008

Source: Green Seal

Green Seal has published a new and updated environmental standard for industrial and institutional cleaners (GS-37).  This Fourth Edition of the Green Seal Environmental Standard for Industrial and Institutional Cleaners GS-37 was issued August 29, 2008. Certification applications to the revised standard are now being accepted. 

This standard establishes environmental requirements for industrial and institutional general-purpose, restroom, glass, and carpet cleaners intended for routine cleaning of offices, institutions, warehouses, and industrial facilities.

According to Green Seal, the new standard, in development nearly two years, "is now more protective of vulnerable populations and reflects advancements made by industry since the last update of the standard."  The new standard considers vulnerable populations in institutional settings such as schools, day-care facilities, nursing homes, and other facilities.

Some notable differences between this new GS-37 Fourth Edition and the 2006 Third Edition:

  • New product categories are included, such as toilet bowl cleaners and carpet spot removers.
  • Acute toxicity limits have been strengthened.
  • Inhalation exposure concerns, especially for occupational and vulnerable populations, were addressed with the addition of chronic inhalation criteria and the prohibition of asthmagens.
  • The volatile organic compound content limit was tightened to provide additional indoor air protection for occupational and vulnerable populations.
  • Skin exposure was strengthened to more comprehensively prohibit toxins, with the prohibition of systemic toxins absorbed through the skin.
  • Toxic compound prohibition was expanded to include mutagens and toxic compounds such as mutagens, carcinogens, and reproductive toxins produced from synergistic reactions or by-product reaction products.
  • A bioaccumulation criterion was added to provide additional environmental protection.
  • The minimum product concentration requirement was enhanced to provide further environmental protection to reduce water, transport, and packaging material use.
  • Packaging innovations were included such as reduced material use, prohibition of chlorinated materials, and enhanced requirements for closed dilution-control systems.
  • Communication requirements for labels and material safety data sheets (MSDSs) were enhanced with added disclosures to further aid purchaser’s decisions.


For all the latest info on green cleaning, including Green Seal's new GS-37 standard, see RPN's Responsible Purchasing Guide for Cleaners.

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