- Created on Monday, 03 September 2007 02:58
- Written by Staff
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing the Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative (SDSI) to recognize environmental leaders who voluntarily commit to the use of safer surfactants. The Design for the Environment Program has identified safer alternative surfactants through its partnership work with industry and environmental advocates.
These safer alternatives are comparable in cost and are readily available. The SDSI initiative is designed to promote green chemistry through informed substitution of safer surfactants
Safer surfactants are surfactants that break down quickly to non-polluting compounds. Nonylphenol ethoxylates, commonly referred to as NPEs, are an example of a surfactant class that does not meet this definition. Both NPEs and their breakdown products, such as nonylphenol, are toxic to aquatic life.
SDSI complements the Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Nonylphenol. These criteria are designed to protect aquatic life in both fresh and saltwater and can form the basis for state and tribal water quality standards.
The SDSI program differens from the Design for the Environment Formulator program in that the SDSI program is taking an informed substitution route of a specific ingredient – surfactants. SDSI focus’ on one component in a product vs. looking at all the ingredients. The program is seeking partners from businesses engaged in the production or use of surfactants, as well as from those involved in the purchasing or distribution of products containing surfactants.
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