DfE Criteria in Surfactants
An ingredient that meets the DfE Criteria for Safer Chemical Ingredients is an ideal candidate for use in a cleaning product recognized by the EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) Formulator Program. Ingredients that do not meet the DfE Criteria may still be considered by the Formulator Program on a case-by-case basis.
Data and Submission Guidance
Criteria for the DfE Surfactant Screen include:
- Full component disclosure to EPA or approved 3rd party reviewer. Ingredients are evaluated based on the individual components.
- Submission of biodegradability test data or clearly referenced data on each component. These data may not be modeled; however, close analogues may be submitted.
- Ideally, three data points for each component on aquatic toxicity. Modeled data may be used and may be determined by the supplier or by the U.S. EPA. All components, except those that are readily biodegradable1, will be screened for the potential to biodegrade without products of concern2.
|Aquatic Toxicity Level
|Ideal DfE Candidate|
|≤1 ppm||May be acceptable if biodegradation occurs within a 10-day window|
|>1 ppm and ≤10 ppm||Biodegradation occurs within a 10-day window|
|>10 ppm||Biodegradation occurs within 28 days without products of concern2|
2Products of concern are compounds classified by GHS as Acute Category 1 or 2 for aquatic toxicity and that are not ultimately biodegradable. (GHS Acute Category 1 or 2 refers to L/E/IC50 ≤ 10ppm. Ultimately biodegradable refers to >60% mineralization in 28days.)