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The Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative

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.

If you would like more information, please contact Kathleen Vokes ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or Libby Sommer ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Ecolab Acquires Dober Chemical’S Textile Care Business

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ecolab Inc. a leader in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services announced it has purchased the commercial laundry division of Dober Chemical Corporation. The acquisition includes Dober’s laundry chemical and waste water treatment and Ultrax dispensing businesses as well as an exclusive partnership to market and provide key components of its Spindle monitoring software.

“Dober is respected throughout the industry for its innovative monitoring technology, product chemistry and commitment to service – qualities that complement our own strengths at Ecolab,” said Brian Henke, vice president and general manager, Ecolab Textile Care North America. “As we expand our North American commercial laundry business, innovation and service excellence will continue to be our top priority as we partner with our customers to deliver unsurpassed value to run their operations more efficiently, sustainably and cost effectively.”

“Ecolab and Dober share the same customercentric approach to service and innovative technology,” said John Dobrez, president Dober Chemical Corp. “This is an exciting development because it builds on the strengths of both companies to move the industry forward.”

Through this agreement, Spindle Technologies,a division of Dober, is forming a strategic alliance with Ecolab Textile Care in an exclusive licensing agreement for its ChemWatch Software technology and the OPTRAX Utility Module.

“There will be no movement of people as they currently all operate remotely,” said Henke. “The Dober leadership team is very skilled and respected in the industry. We plan to have them as part of the team moving forward. During the transition, both businesses will operate as usual and we do not expect there to be any changes in the service the customers are used to receiving.”