The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on September 29, 2023, that it is adding ten chemicals to the Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL). EPA describes the SCIL as “a living list of chemicals that EPA’s Safer Choice program has evaluated and determined meet Safer Choice criteria.” With this update, the SCIL includes a total of 1,071 chemicals that are “among the safest for their functional use.” According to EPA, the SCIL provides increased transparency in safer chemistry, helps companies find safer chemical alternatives, and increases innovation and growth of safer products. EPA states that in support of the Biden Administration’s goals, “the addition of chemicals to the SCIL incentivizes further innovation in safer chemistry, which can promote environmental justice, bolster resilience to the impacts of climate change, and improve water quality.”
According to EPA, the SCIL is a resource that can help a variety of different stakeholders, including:
- Product manufacturers that use the SCIL to help them identify safer ingredients to make high-functioning products that contain safer ingredients;
- Chemical manufacturers that use the list to promote the safer chemicals they manufacture;
- Retailers that use the list to help shape their sustainability programs; and
- Environmental and health advocates who use the list to support their work with industry to encourage the use of the safest possible chemistry.
The Safer Choice program certifies products containing ingredients that meet the program’s human health and environmental safety criteria and allows companies to use its label on products that meet the Safer Choice Standard. EPA encourages manufacturers to submit their safer chemicals to EPA for review and listing on the SCIL, which EPA updates at least once a year to reflect innovations in safer chemistry.