Green Seal

New Standard Signals Safe Personal Care Products

The environmental certification nonprofit Green Seal continues to expand its reach across industries with its latest quality standard for personal care and cosmetic products, such as deodorants, lotions, hair sprays, insect repellants, sunscreens and nail polishes. The new GS-50 standard applies to products meant to be left on the body, a complement to Green Seal’s GS-44 standard for soaps and shampoos, which are intended to be washed off.

To receive the Green Seal label, products cannot be tested on animals or contain carcinogens, reproductive toxins or other compounds found harmful to humans. The list of banned ingredients includes bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates and triclosan. Product compounds, with a few exceptions, must readily biodegrade in aquatic environments.

Companies can meet the packaging requirements by having recyclable packaging, a take-back program or packaging made with 50 percent post-consumer material. All ingredients must be listed, with appropriate use of terms such as “natural” and “biobased.”

Any business applying for the standard must document energy and water use, air emissions, and trash and wastewater related to manufacturing processes, as well as the distance and type of transportation used to move raw materials.

On the social responsibility side, workers must be given the right to join labor unions, child labor is prohibited, and wages and working hours are expected to meet minimum legal requirements or industry benchmarks.


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