A recent survey concluded almost 73% of adults believe that household cleaning product labels provide an accurate and detailed list of all ingredients contained in their products. In reality, there is currently no U.S. government mandate to compel companies to fully disclose all ingredients contained in cleaning products.
But one company, Whole Foods Market, has acted to fill the gap in product labeling by introducing the Eco-Scale rating system. This unique system will help consumers gain a better understanding of the ingredients in the household products they use.
In cooperation with vendors, Whole Foods Market has created a color-coding system to rate household cleaners based on environmental standards. Everything from toilet bowl cleaners to liquid laundry detergent will be assigned a color —red, orange, yellow or green—based on a specific set of environmental standards.
“We’ve always carefully monitored ingredients. Now, with Eco-Scale, we’re able to help shoppers buy eco-friendly products with confidence and provide safer alternatives for their households and for the planet as a whole,” says Jim Speirs, global vice president of procurement for Whole Foods Market.
Whole Foods Market is the first national retailer to implement such a rating system. Under the Eco-Scale rating system, product vendors will be required to list every ingredient on product packaging. All products will be independently audited through a third-party to ensure vendor compliance, and after this process is complete, the products can be color-coded and labeled for shelving in stores.
Products will be required to meet a minimum baseline “orange” standard by Earth Day, 2012, and any product rated as “Red” will not be sold at Whole Foods Market.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the chemicals found in some cleaning products can cause health problems, like irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as headaches. Using green cleaning products may help individuals who are sensitive to such irritants.
With the Eco-Smart rating system, you can now know exactly what is in the products you bring into your home. And having confidence in the accuracy of product labeling is the first step in protecting your family from environmental hazards, and keeping the planet healthier, too.