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According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "Green Cleaning - Environmental Attributes Defined" there are several attributes to consider when deciding on which green cleaner to use. Some of these categories are listed below:

Skin Irritation:
"Some ready-to-use cleaning products may contain chemicals that will cause redness or swelling of skin."

Air Pollution Potential:
"Products may contain volatile organic compounds, which may escape to the atmosphere and react to form smog. Smog and other atmospheric pollutants have been shown to cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, and to cause asthma attacks."

Fragrances:
"This attribute does not refer to natural odors that are associated with cleaning agents (e.g., a lemon odor in a citrus-based cleaner); rather, it refers to fragrances that are added to improve odor or mask an offensive odor. Added fragrances have little cleaning value, but they provide aesthetic benefits important to many users. On the other hand, a basic principle of pollution prevention is to avoid unnecessary additives."

Dyes:
"This attribute refers to dyes that have been added to a formulation to enhance or change the color of the product. While the addition of these dyes contributes little to the cleaning value of the product, it may be important for safety reasons, such as differentiating among formulations. Again, a basic principle of pollution prevention is to avoid unnecessary additives."

Reduced/Recyclable Packaging:
"Packaging is a large component of municipal solid waste landfills. A product's packaging can account for a significant portion of the product's contribution to municipal solid waste. EPA's recommended approach to managing solid waste is, first, reduce packaging of products and, second, recycle packaging materials..."


 

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