On January 12, 2023, the EPA announced updates to the Safer Chemicals Ingredients List (SCIL), which “is a list of chemical ingredients, arranged by functional-use class, that the Safer Choice Program has evaluated and determined to be safer than traditional chemical ingredients. This list is designed to help manufacturers find safer chemical alternatives that meet the criteria of the Safer Choice Program.”
The EPA added nine chemicals to the SCIL:
- Fatty acids, C6-12
- D-Glucopyranose; oligomeric; C10-16-alkyl glycosides; 2-hydroxy-3-sulfopropyl ethers; sodium salts; and polymers with 1,3-dichloro-2-propanol
- D-Glucuronic acid
- D-arabino-2-Hexulosonic acid
- Galactaric acid
- D-arabino-2-hexulosonic acid, calcium salt
- D-Glucaric acid
- Pentaric acid
- Propanoic acid; 2,3-dihydroxy-
The Agency also removed Halogenated aliphatic acid from the list, which is a per- or polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) because, according to the EPA, the chemical is not used in any Safer-Choice products. The status for this chemical is now a gray square on the SCIL, which means the “chemical may not be acceptable for use in products that are candidates for the Safer Choice label and any currently certified products that contain it may need to reformulate per Safer Choice Compliance Schedules.”
With these additions, the SCIL now contains 1,064 chemicals.
“The Safer Choice label offers a readily identifiable way to know that a product is as safe as possible for people and the environment,” states the EPA’s Safer Choice Standard. “When you see the Safer Choice label on a product it means that the Safer Choice scientific review team has screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects and that—based on the best available experimental data and EPA predictive models—the product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class.”
The SCIL is utilized by several stakeholders:
- Product manufacturers use the SCIL to help them make high-functioning products that contain safer ingredients.
- Chemical manufacturers use this list to promote the safer chemicals they manufacture.
- Retailers use the list to help shape their sustainability programs.
- Environmental and health advocates use the list to support their work with industry to encourage the use of the safest-possible chemistry.
“The addition of chemicals to the SCIL incentivizes further innovation in safer chemistry, which can promote environmental justice, bolster resilience to the impacts of climate change, and improve water quality,” states FedCenter. “Chemicals on the SCIL are among the safest for their functional use.”