Green Seal announced a ban on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – so-called forever chemicals – in Green Seal-certified cleaning and personal care products Products certified to Green Seal’s updated standards will be verified to be PFAS-free and to meet the organization’s benchmarks for safety and environmental protection.
Green Seal’s standards have prohibited long-chain PFAS formally classified as hazardous. But a growing body of evidence indicates that short-chain PFAS have the same harmful health and environmental effects as the legacy PFAS they are replacing. Green Seal’s updated cleaning and personal care product standards now prohibit approximately 12,000 chemicals in this class.
PFAS are persistent in the environment, with evidence that some chemicals are so resistant to degradation that they could persist for hundreds of years. The chemicals are found in drinking water and bioaccumulate in soil and humans. PFAS are associated with numerous adverse health effects, including: impacts on the endocrine and reproductive systems; increased risks of certain cancers, such as prostate, testicular, and kidney; and decreased immune responses, including the body’s ability to develop beneficial antibodies in response to vaccines.
It can be challenging for consumers and even manufacturers to be certain that products do not use PFAS. For example, PFAS frequently are used in raw materials, and those proprietary formulas often are not fully disclosed to the final product manufacturer. With the new prohibition, Green Seal can provide assurance to manufacturers and buyers that their Green Seal-certified cleaning and personal care products are PFAS-free.