Harvard University, Specifications for Green Cleaning Products

By Jeremy Wallace,2014-01-09 10:45
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Harvard University, Specifications for Green Cleaning Products

Harvard FMO Specifications for Green Cleaning Products

    The Harvard FMO Green Cleaning Program’s criteria are based on the results of a workgroup at the Center for a New American Dream. The workgroup consisted of governmental organizations who were the pioneers of the green cleaning movement. Members included: Massachusetts, Seattle, Santa Monica, King County, Minnesota, and others. The workgroup created criteria that expanded on the Green Seal standard for Industrial and Institutional Cleaners (GS-37). The criteria was then used to create Massachusetts’ RFP. The text of FMO’s criteria is directly based on the Massachusetts RFP. The benefit of coming to a consensus on a single criterion is that manufacturers do not need to create products that fit into multiple criteria. They now have a single goal that they can work toward that will be accepted by many purchasers. More information on the criteria and workgroup can be found at

    A summary of the criteria is followed by the specific requirements below:


    Mandatory Environmental Requirements

    ; Toxicity

    ; Carcinogens and Reproductive Toxins

    ; Skin and Eye Irritation

    ; Skin Sensitization

    ; Combustibility

    ; Smog, Ozone, and Indoor Air Quality

    ; Aquatic Toxicity

    ; Eutrophication

    ; Aquatic Biodegradability

    ; Concentrates

    ; Fragrances

    ; Prohibited Substances

Additional Requirements

    ; Training

    ; Packaging

    ; Labeling

Desirable Criteria

    ; Additional Training attributes

    ; Additional Packaging attributes

    ; Additional Labeling Information

    ; Dispensing Equipment

    ; Non-animal Testing

    ; Asthmagen Data

    ; Company-wide Environmental Commitment


1. I. Products

    Harvard University’s FMO is currently purchasing environmentally preferable products in the following categories:

    1. General Purpose Cleaners

    2. Bathroom Cleaners

    3. Glass Cleaners

    4. Carpet Cleaners

    5. Disinfectants

    6. Floor Cleaners

    7. Hand Soaps

    8. Janitorial Paper/Textile Supplies

The first three categories of products must meet the twelve criteria listed below. Criteria

    for the last five categories are listed individually.

2. II. Product Formulation: Mandatory Health and Environmental


    3. Toxicity

    The undiluted product must not be toxic to humans. Dispensing system concentrates

    must be tested as used. A product is considered toxic if any of the following criteria apply:

    If the vapor phase concentration of the product at room temperature is less than 20 mg/L, it should be tested at its saturation concentration. If it is not toxic at this concentration, it passes the inhalation criteria. Toxicity shall be measured on the product as a whole. Alternatively, a mixture need not be tested if existing toxicity information demonstrates that each of the ingredients complies. Ingredients that are nonvolatile do not require inhalation toxicity testing, and ingredients that are not readily absorbed through the skin do not require dermal toxicity testing. It is assumed that the toxicity of the individual component compounds are weighted and summed and that there are not synergistic effects. The toxicity testing procedures should meet the requirements put forth by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Testing of Chemicals. These protocols include Acute Oral Toxicity Test (TG 401), Acute Inhalation Toxicity Test (TG 403), and Acute Dermal Toxicity Test (TG 402).

4. Carcinogens and Reproductive Toxins

    The undiluted products must not contain any ingredients that are carcinogens or that are known to cause reproductive toxicity, as defined by the following agencies:

    Carcinogens: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), National Toxicology Program (NTP), US Environmental Protection Agency, or the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)

    Reproductive Toxicity: Those chemicals listed by the State of California under the Safe

    Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (CA Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 2, Subdiv. 1, Chapter 3, Sect. 1200, et seq.).

    Naturally occurring elements and chlorinated organics, which may be present as a result of chlorination of the water supply, are not considered ingredients if the concentrations are below the applicable maximum contaminant levels in the National Primary Drinking Water Standards found in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 141.

5. Skin and Eye Irritation

    The undiluted product must not be corrosive to the skin or eyes. Dispensing-system

    concentrates must be tested as used. The undiluted cleaning product must not be

    corrosive to the skin, as tested using the Human Skin Construct systems (Liebsch et al. 2000; Fentem et al. 1998). The undiluted cleaning product must also not be corrosive to

    the eye as tested using the bovine opacity and permeability test (BCOP) (Sina et al. 1995) after a 10-minute exposure. The PMT will also accept the results of other peer-reviewed or standard in vitro or in vivo test methods demonstrating that the product mixture is not corrosive.

6. Skin Sensitization

    The undiluted product must not be a skin sensitizer as tested by the OECD Guidelines for testing chemicals, Section 406. Dispensing system concentrates must be tested as used.

    The PMT shall also accept the results of other standard test methods, such as those described in Buehler (1994) or Magnusson and Kligman (1969), as proof that the product or its ingredients are not skin sensitizers.

7. Combustibility

    The undiluted product must not be combustible. The product or 99% of by volume of the product ingredients must have a flashpoint above 150 F, as tested using either the

    Cleveland Open Cup Tester (ASTM D92-97) or a closed cup method International Standards Organization (ISO) 13736 or ISO 2719. Alternatively the product must not

    sustain a flame when tested using ASTM D 4206.

    8. Photochemical Smog, Tropospheric Ozone Production, and Indoor Air Quality

    The product as used must not contain substances that contribute significantly to the production of photochemical smog, tropospheric ozone and poor indoor air quality. The volatile organic compound (VOC) and of the product as used shall be determined by the

    CA Air Resources Board Method 310 and must not exceed the following:

    ? 1% by weight for general purpose and bathroom cleaners

    ? 3% by weight for glass cleaners

9. Aquatic Toxicity

    The product as used must