Safer Choice

How to List a Chemical on the Safer Chemical Ingredients List

To expand the number of chemicals and functional-use categories on our Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL), we are inviting chemical manufacturers to submit their safer chemicals to EPA for review and listing on SCIL. Adding chemicals to the SCIL encourages innovation and growth in safer products, increase markets for business, and helps protect people and the environment.

Hundreds of our partners, retailers, and other stakeholders use the SCIL as a resource for:

  • learning more about the ingredients used to make safer products;
  • developing or enhancing formulas to earn our Safer Choice label;
  • qualifying for retailer sustainability programs; and
  • meeting their company's innovation goals.

Chemicals that qualify for listing on SCIL must meet the Criteria for Safer Chemical Ingredients and are eligible for use in products that carry the Safer Choice label, with some exceptions (see the SCIL webpage).

Flowchart of steps to getting a chemical listed on SCIL

Steps to Listing on SCIL

See a text-only version of the flowchart.

Steps to getting a chemical listed on SCIL

STEP 1. Become Familiar with SCIL

To help users easily identify safer chemicals, SCIL is organized by functional class (surfactant, solvent, etc.). The functional classes currently in SCIL reflect the program's substantial work on cleaning, maintenance, and related products. SCIL and the underlying safer ingredients standards have spurred innovation by challenging chemical manufacturers to design and list safer chemicals - and many have, especially in the surfactant, solvent, and chelating agent component classes. Safer Choice would like to encourage innovation in other ingredient classes and product sectors. Of particular interest are personal care products, as well as institutional/industrial formulations, like those for lubricants and adhesives. Safer Choice is open to your ideas and would welcome SCIL candidates for these and perhaps other product types.

STEP 2. Profiling the Chemical

Applicants for SCIL must fully disclose chemical(s) in the chemical product under consideration to EPA's Safer Choice Program and to a qualified third-party profiler. The third-party profiler compiles all hazard information available on each chemical and includes detailed structure, physical-chemical properties, human health and environmental toxicology, and regulatory/administrative status. This compilation of data is known as a [chemical or hazard] profile.

Qualified third-party profilers have the expertise and objectivity needed to ensure a quality review, with high confidence in the accuracy and reliability of the profile information. To better understand the qualifications of the third-party profilers, please see: Third-party profiler qualifications.

Safer Choice's authorized third-party profilers are NSF, International and ToxServices, LLC. Please contact them directly on how to submit your chemical(s) for review and for their cost information.

Cleaning product formulators are encouraged to also consider listing their safer chemical(s) on CleanGredients® Exit. Profiles prepared for SCIL listing can also be used to qualify for CleanGredients, although some information requirements may vary. (Note: CleanGredients is owned and operated by the GreenBlue Institute of Charlottesville, VA and application for listing must be made through GreenBlue.) Manufacturers wishing to preserve the confidential nature of their chemical(s)/formulations can do so on CleanGredients. Since chemicals on CleanGredients (and SCIL) have been pre-qualified for use in Safer Choice products, when product manufacturers select ingredients from these resources they save money on third -party profiling costs.

STEP 3. Safer Choice Reviews the Profile and Determines SCIL Status

Once the chemical's hazard profile is completed, the profiler will ask if you would like it sent to EPA's Safer Choice Program. When you're ready, Safer Choice will carefully review the profile in the context of its functional class and make a decision on whether the chemical meets the Safer Choice criteria for SCIL listing. If the chemical qualifies for SCIL, the Safer Choice Program will decide on the appropriate geometric-color symbol, to designate the chemical's hazard status. SCIL-listed chemicals are reviewed every three years to ensure appropriate consideration of the latest toxicological information.

For a chemical that would be the first ingredient in a component class, EPA suggests you request a Safer Choice consultation to discuss the broader product/ingredient context, e.g., the chemical and functional parameters of the class, the relationship to other component classes and product types, any hazard or use issues surrounding the class, and the opportunities for further innovation. Then, the Safer Choice Program will determine whether additional information or data may be needed to move forward with the SCIL evaluation.