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FAQs

What is CleanGredients’ relationship with the U.S. EPA’s Safer Choice Program?

The U.S. EPA Safer Choice Program provided seed funding for CleanGredients through a cooperative agreement.  Products listed in CleanGredients are evaluated against standards set by the Safer Choice Program, and all products in CleanGredients are approved by the Safer Choice Program prior to listing.

What is the difference between CleanGredients and EPA’s Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL)?

SCIL lists chemical ingredients that have met the Safer Choice criteria by common name and CAS number, but does not include pre-screened trade name products as they are formulated by chemical suppliers.  Learn more about the difference between CleanGredients and SCIL here.

What functional classes of ingredients are currently available in CleanGredients?

We currently have ingredients listed in the following classes: chelating agents, colorants, enzymes and enzyme stabilizers, fragrances, odor eliminators, optical brighteners, oxidants and oxidant stabilizers, plasticizers, polymers, preservatives and antioxidants, processing aids and additives, solvents, starter formulations, surfactants, and water soluble films.  We are actively working to add listings in the categories of antimicrobial actives and defoamers.

Can I list products in CleanGredients that aren’t in these functional classes?

Products in other functional classes may be eligible to be listed in CleanGredients, provided they are assessed by an authorized Third Party Profiler and meet the Safer Choice master criteria.  Contact us at info@cleangredients.org for more information if you are interested in listing products that do not fall within existing functional classes.

Is CleanGredients a certification program?

How can I stay informed about new developments?

Check out the News section of our site, which contains information about new developments with CleanGredients and topics related to green chemistry, subscribe to the GreenBlue newsletter, and follow us on Twitter.

How do I subscribe to CleanGredients?

Click here to subscribe and learn about the fee schedule and the kinds of subscriptions available.

Where do I find the CleanGredients Subscriber License Agreement?

The Subscriber License Agreement can be found here.

What’s the difference between a formulator and a supplier?

In the context of CleanGredients, suppliers are companies that produce intermediate products (e.g., surfactants, solvents, chelants, fragrances, etc.) that are sold for blending into final product formulations. Formulators are companies interested in sourcing environmentally superior ingredients for inclusion in their formulated cleaning products to be sold to retail customers or commercial, industrial, or institutional users. A “formulator” subscription allows individuals  to search the database, whereas a “supplier” subscription allows a company  to list and search products in the database.

How many users can I have on my account?

There is no limit on the amount of users associated with a CleanGredients account.

What does it mean if I am designated as the primary, secondary, or invoicing user for my account?

The primary user is the main person responsible for managing your company’s subscription, and can view company data, manage invoicing and online payment, add and delete other users within the company, and change the status of other users (e.g., set them as the primary, secondary, or invoicing user).  The secondary user is a backup for the primary user, and can do everything the primary user can except add and delete user accounts.  The invoicing user is able to manage invoicing and online payment, but cannot perform other actions related to account management.  All users are able to view ingredient listings, and in the case of suppliers, edit and publish their company’s ingredient profiles.

How long will it take before my subscription is active?

If you pay online via credit card, your subscription is active immediately.  Otherwise, we will activate your subscription as soon as we’ve received payment of the full amount due.

When I try to log in, I see a page that says “Account Expired: (Date)”. How do I reinstate my account?

Your company’s account has been deactivated due to nonpayment.  Contact a primary, secondary, or invoicing user within your company, who can access billing information and either download an invoice or pay online via credit card via the billing page.  If you are not sure who is designated as the primary, secondary, or invoicing user, or otherwise require assistance, contact us at info@cleangredients.org.

How do I reset or change my password?

You can change your password on the Account Settings page which is located in the upper-right corner of the main navigation page.  You can also use the “Forgot?” link on the login page to reset your password – a new temporary password will be emailed to you.

How do I get technical support?

You can contact us at info@cleangredients.org for assistance with CleanGredients.  If you have questions regarding the criteria for evaluating chemicals, testing protocols or types of data to submit to a Third Party Profiler (TPP), please contact a Safer Choice authorized TPP for more information.

What is CleanGredients’ logo use policy?

Subscribers may use the names, logos and marks affiliated with CleanGredients with written permission from GreenBlue, in accordance with the Trademark Usage Policy posted on our website.  The CleanGredients name and logo may only be used by active subscribers, and may only be used in connection with product-specific materials if those products are actively listed in CleanGredients.  Contact us at info@cleangredients.org if you are interested in using the CleanGredients logo.

I am unable to access my invoice or input my credit card information when I log in.

Only users designated as primary, secondary, or invoicing can manage billing information for an account.  If you are designated as this user type, you can access your invoice or input credit card information at the billing page.  If you are designated as a general user and need to manage billing, either ask the primary user on your account to designate you as a secondary or invoicing user, or contact info@cleangredients.org for assistance.

Can I pay by credit card without signing up for auto-renewal?

At this time, all credit card payments will automatically renew at the end of your subscription term.  Auto-renewal can be cancelled at any time, and you will receive several notifications before your credit card is charged again.

What is CleanGredients’ refund policy?

Requests for a refund must be provided to GreenBlue in writing within 14 calendar days of the commencement date of the applicable initial or renewal term of your subscription.  There are no refunds after such 14-day period.  Refunds shall be made by check, payable to the subscriber, or refunded to the subscriber’s credit card, at the discretion of GreenBlue.  GreenBlue may withhold 20% of the subscription fee in order to cover administrative costs associated with subscription setup and processing of the refund.

How do I search for ingredients?

To search for ingredients, you will first need to subscribe, create an account, and log in. Then, click on All Ingredients. You can search by product trade name, keyword, Chemical Abstract Service Registry Number (“CASRN”), functional class or supplier company name.

How can CleanGredients help me get an ecolabel for my product?

CleanGredients is not a standard, ecolabel or certification, but it can help you get an ecolabel for your product by helping you identify ingredients with superior environmental and human health performance characteristics. Products formulated with safer ingredients may be eligible for recognition through a number of national and international programs, including EPA Safer Choice.

Because all of the ingredients listed in CleanGredients are pre-screened against Safer Choice criteria, finding your ingredients in CleanGredients simplifies the process of obtaining Safer Choice recognition.  Specifically, Third Party Profilers don’t charge to review CleanGredients-listed ingredients when included in a formulated product submitted for Safer Choice review, so your CleanGredients subscription may pay for itself.  Plus, since the ingredients have been prescreened, you can rest easy knowing they won’t cause your product to fail its Safer Choice review.

Where can I find more information on how to get the Safer Choice label on my formulated product?

Refer to this EPA guide for more information on how to get your product recognized by Safer Choice.

Can I make environmental marketing claims if I use CleanGredients-listed ingredients in my product formulation?

Sourcing ingredients listed in CleanGredients for product formulation is a great start, but it is not sufficient basis for making any environmental marketing claims. Such claims should only be made after an eco-label (such as EPA Safer Choice) has recognized your product, and the claims should then be made in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Green Guides.

Why are there maximum use levels for some ingredients listed in CleanGredients?

These values indicate the maximum level at which a given ingredient may be used in a product bearing the Safer Choice label.  Typically, these values are assigned due to unavoidable residuals or impurities of concern that cannot be reduced with current manufacturing best practices.  You can read more about maximum use levels here.

I’m formulating a product that will be released directly into the environment. Can CleanGredients help me source ingredients that will be suitable for this application?

Yes.  Ingredients listed in CleanGredients are typically reviewed against the more stringent criteria the Safer Choice program has established for direct release products (e.g., home car washes, boat cleaners, or graffiti removers).  Ingredient profiles in CleanGredients indicate whether a given ingredient is approved for use in direct release products.  Learn more about the criteria for direct release products here.

How can I determine the correct GHS hazard classification for my formulated product?

Some ingredients listed in CleanGredients may result in a GHS hazard classification for a formulated product in which they are used, depending on the concentration at which they are used and the other ingredients in the product formulation.  Your supplier should be able to help you determine hazard labeling requirements.  However, note that combinations of any ingredients with GHS hazard labeling may result in final GHS hazard labeling requirements for a formulation that are not directly predicted by dilution of the individual components.  OSHA hazard communication regulations and any other locally applicable laws or regulations should be consulted to determine labeling requirements for formulated products.

I noticed an error in an ingredient profile. How can I report it?

Please contact GreenBlue at info@cleangredients.org.  We will work with the supplier to address the error.

What do the full green circle, half green circle, and yellow triangle designations mean in an ingredient profile?

These symbols reflect the percentage of the components of a given ingredient that fall within the designated category established by the Safer Choice program.  Green circle chemicals have been verified to be of low concern based on experimental and modeled data, half green circle chemicals are expected to be of low concern based on experimental and modeled data (but additional data would strengthen confidence in the chemical’s status), and yellow triangle chemicals meet Safer Choice Criteria for their functional class, but have some hazard profile issues.  Specifically, a chemical with this code is not associated with a low level of hazard concern for all human health and environmental endpoints.  While it is a best-in-class chemical and among the safest available for a particular function, the function fulfilled by the chemical should be considered an area for safer chemistry innovation.

How do I list my products in CleanGredients?

This page describes the process to list ingredients in CleanGredients.

What benefits do I get for listing my products in CleanGredients?

Suppliers in CleanGredients are recognized as innovators and market leaders for green chemistry.  CleanGredients allows you highlight the safety of your products, while sharing the product information you want and being part of a green chemistry community.  Plus, your customers will appreciate it, since it will help them save time and money in getting their products Safer Choice-certified.

How many formulators will see my products?

The number of formulators subscribed to CleanGredients has increased dramatically since its launch in 2006 and continues to grow.  The list includes large, well known companies as  well as small businesses, all of which recognize the value of the information CleanGredients provides.  Currently over 130 formulator companies subscribe to CleanGredients.

When should I subscribe to CleanGredients?

At a minimum, we recommend that you subscribe once your first product has been approved for listing by a third party reviewer. Some companies wait until the third party reviewer receives final approval from the Safer Choice program. This way if the review process takes longer than expected, you avoid paying before your first product is eligible for listing.

Why is my approved product is not visible under “All Ingredients”?

Check to see if the product is visible when you click the “My Ingredients” button, and whether the “Publish” field is set to “Yes”.  If not, click on the ingredient in question and then the “Edit Ingredient” link.  Set the “Publish” field to “Yes,” then save the changes.  Only ingredients that are set to be published will appear under “All Ingredients”.

How do I edit an ingredient profile?

Click the “My Ingredients” button, then click on the ingredient in question and then the “Edit Ingredient” link.  Update the fields as needed, then save the  changes to the ingredient profile.  Be sure to set the “Publish” field to “Yes” so the ingredient profile will be visible to formulators.

How do I change the name of my product?

Contact your Third Party Profiler or info@cleangredients.org for assistance changing the name of your product.

What if I have a product that passes the Safer Choice Master Criteria, but is not used to formulate products in any of the Safer Choice categories?

If your product passes the Safer Choice Master Criteria after a thorough assessment by a Safer Choice-authorized Third Party Profiler, you may be able to list it in CleanGredients even if it belongs to a functional class not used in Safer Choice-labeled products.  Contact us at info@cleangredients.org for more information.

Can I list the same product formulation under multiple trade names?

Yes.  Contact your Third Party Profiler to add the product formulation under multiple trade names.

 

If I am a distributor of a product listed in CleanGredients, can I use the CleanGredients logo to market these products?

CleanGredients neither permits the use of its name, logo, or written materials for commercial purposes, including advertising, nor allows the suggestion of any endorsement, affiliation, or sponsorship with any third party’s product or service, without its prior written consent.  View our Trademark Usage Policy for more information.

How many products can I list in CleanGredients?

You can list an unlimited number of approved products in all functional classes.

Can I list a trade name product in more than one functional class?

Yes, provided it meets the Safer Choice criteria for each functional class it is listed in.  Contact your Third Party Profiler for more information regarding functional class-specific criteria.  At this time, a second ingredient listing must be created to list the product in a second functional class.

Why do I need to pay fees both to CleanGredients and to my Third Party Profiler to list ingredients? Can I make one payment to cover my annual subscription and review costs?

Your annual subscription fee to CleanGredients covers the administrative costs associated with maintenance of the CleanGredients site by GreenBlue.  This fee allows listing of an unlimited number of qualified ingredients in all functional classes, and also provides access to view other active ingredient listings in the database.  Ingredients undergo review prior to listing and every three years thereafter by separate third party profilers, who verify the ingredients’ compliance with EPA’s Safer Choice standard.  Fees paid to these companies do not go to GreenBlue, but instead cover the costs of the review.

How often does my product need to be reviewed by a Third Party Profiler in order to be listed on CleanGredients?

Ingredients are required to be reviewed and approved every three years.  Additionally, please notify your Third Party Profiler if there are any changes in your product’s formulation, since these may affect Safer Choice approval status.

What does the third-party review process entail?

You will be required to submit complete formulation information, including individual ingredient SDSs, to the third-party reviewer via the Safer Choice Supplier Community.  The reviewer will evaluate each ingredient against relevant health and environmental endpoints for the functional class of the chemical, relying on publicly available information, chemical analogs, QSAR modeling, and/or proprietary toxicology data if provided.  When your product contains proprietary mixtures, the reviewer will contact your suppliers for further information.  The third-party profiler will provide a report to you, and with your authorization, they will pass the information on to EPA’s Safer Choice program for final approval.  Depending on the current review backlog, ingredient reviews take approximately 6-8 weeks with the third party reviewer, plus 6-8 weeks with Safer Choice.