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 not be toxic to aquatic life. A compound is considered not

    toxic to aquatic life if it meets one or more of the following criteria: Acute LC50 for algae, daphnia, or fish = 100 mg/L

    For purposes of demonstrating compliance with this requirement, aquatic toxicity testing is not required if sufficient aquatic toxicity data exist for each of the product’s ingredients to demonstrate that the product mixture complies. Aquatic toxicity tests shall follow the appropriate protocols in ISO 7346.2 for fish and in 40 CFR 797, Subpart B for other aquatic organisms.

10. Eutrophication

    The product as used must not contain more than 0.5% by weight of total phosphorus.

11. Aquatic Biodegradability

    Each of the organic ingredients must exhibit ready biodegradability in accordance with

    the OECD definition except for a FIFRA-registered ingredient in bathroom cleaner. However, all other ingredients in a FIFRA-registered bathroom cleaner must comply.

    Biodegradability will be measured by one of the following methods: ISO 9439 carbon dioxide evolution test, ISO 10708 (two-phase close bottle test), ISO 10707 (close bottle test), ISO 7827 (dissolved organic carbon removal). Specifically within a 28-day test, the ingredient shall meet one of the following criteria within 10 days of the time when the biodegradation first reaches 10%: Removal of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) = >70% Biological oxygen demand (BOD) = >60% % of BOD theoretical oxygen demand (ThOD) = >60% % CO2 evolution of theoretical = >60%

    For organic ingredients that do not exhibit ready biodegradability in these tests, the manufacturer may demonstrate biodegradability in sewage treatment plants using the Coupled Units Test found in OECD 303A by demonstrating dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removal >90%.

    Testing is not required for any ingredient for which sufficient information exists concerning its biodegradability, either in peer-reviewed literature or databases or proving that the ingredient was tested in accordance with standard test procedures.

12. Concentrates

    The product must be a concentrate, except for FIFRA-registered bathroom cleaners.

13. Fragrances

    Manufacturers must identify any fragrances on their MSDS. Any ingredient added to a product as a fragrance must follow the Code of Practice of the International Fragrance Association.

14. Prohibited Ingredients

    The product must not contain the following ingredients:

    ? Alkylphenol ethoxylates

    ? Dibutyl phthalate

    ? Heavy metals including arsenic, lead, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, mercury, nickel or selenium ? Ozone depleting compounds

III. Carpet Cleaners

    Products must meet the Mandatory Health and Environmental Specifications

    established in Section II.

    Products must exhibit a VOC limit of not greater than 1%

IV. Disinfectants/Sanitizers

    Products must meet the Mandatory Health and Environmental Specifications established in Section II EXCEPT for the active ingredients with respect to biodegradability.

    Products must exhibit a VOC limit of not greater than 1%

    Products must be registered by the US Environmental Protection Agency

V. Floor Care Products

1. Floor Finishes

    Mandatory - The products must be free of zinc and other heavy metals.

    Desirable - It is desirable that the products:

    not contain phthalates

    not contain glycol ethers or ammonia

2. Floor Strippers

    Mandatory - The products must be free of zinc and other heavy metals.

    Desirable - It is desirable that the products (in concentrate form): have a pH between 2.5 and 12

    exhibit a VOC limit of not greater than 1%

    not contain glycol ethers or ammonia

3. Maintenance Products

    Mandatory - The products must be free of zinc and other heavy metals.

    Desirable - It is desirable that the products:

    not contain phthalates

    exhibit a VOC limit of not greater than 1%

    not contain glycol ethers and/or ammonia

VI. Hand Soaps

    Mandatory - The products must not be anti-microbial (a low level preservative is permissible, however, in order to prevent bacterial growth) Desirable - It is desirable that products have a pH between 6 and 8.5

VII. Janitorial Paper/Textile Supplies

    Paper products must meet or exceed the minimum federal standards and Commonwealth of Massachusetts standards for post-consumer recycled content and must be unbleached

    or bleached without the use of chlorine (Processed Chlorine Free). It is desirable that

    paper products have dispensing options and packaging that reduce the use of natural

    resources. Textile products (e.g. rags) must be made of reclaimed/recycled textiles. Green Seal certified products are preferred.

VIII. Additional & Desirable Requirements

    1. Training


    The product manufacturer, their distributor, or a third party must offer training or

    training materials in the proper use of the product. These must include step-by-step

    instructions for the proper dilution, use, disposal, and the use of equipment.


    It is desirable that such training and support include, but not be limited to:

    ; -site initial training for use of products

    ; ongoing training either on-site or at designated sites throughout the


    ; a phone number, preferably toll-free, which departments can call to receive

    instructions and assistance on product use

2. Packaging


    The primary package must be recyclable. Alternatively, manufacturers may provide for returning and refilling their packages.


    It is desirable that a Bidder’s primary and/or secondary packaging be made with a

    percentage of post-consumer recycled material and represent a source reduction measure.

3. Labeling


    The manufacturer’s label must state clearly and prominently that dilution with water from the cold tap is recommended and shall state the recommended level of dilution. The manufacturer shall also include detailed instructions for proper use and disposal and for the use of personal protective equipment.


    It is desirable that:

    ; products have color coded labels in lieu of dyes and be made with a percentage of

    postconsumer recycled content.

    ; Manufacturers have product-labeling systems to assist non-English speaking or

    illiterate personnel.

4. Dispensing Equipment


    It is desirable that Bidders provide an option for dispensing equipment that reduces worker exposure to chemicals and promotes the appropriate use of the cleaners.

5. Non-animal Testing


    It is desirable that Bidders products not be tested on animals. The PMT wants to

    discourage animal testing and will accept the results of past peer-reviewed or standard tests demonstrating compliance with a criterion. In addition, a mixture need not be tested (or retested) if existing information demonstrates that each of the ingredients complies with a criterion. The PMT may also accept non-animal (in-vitro) test results, providing that the test methods are referenced in peer-reviewed literature and the manufacturer provides the reasons for selecting the particular test method. (This section applies to Sections 4.1, 4.3, & 4.7 in the Green Seal Standard).

    It is also desirable that manufacturers have a non-animal test policy in place, or plan to implement such a test policy in the near future.

6. Additional Information


    It is desirable that Bidders provide information as to whether their products contain ingredients that may be identified as asthma-causing agents (asthmagens). Such ingredients may include, but not be limited to:

    Monoethanolamine (CAS 141-43-5)

    Tall Oil or Rosin (CAS 8002-26-4)

    Chlorhexidine (CAS 55-56-1)

    Chloramine T (CAS 127-65-1)

    Ammonium Quaternary Disinfectants (May include, but not be limited to the following

    54-0, 122-18-9, 8044-71-1, 123-03-5, 122-19-0) CAS #s: 8001-54-5, 121

    It is desirable that Bidders indicate whether any product being bid is a respiratory irritant or may aggravate existing respiratory conditions.

7. Corporate Environmental Commitment


    It is desirable that Bidders provide information concerning environmental initiatives being conducted or planned in other company operations. Such efforts may include, but not be limited to a Bidder who has:

    ; instituted a publicly available corporate environmental policy that can be

    measured by established goals

    ; implemented an environmental management system such as ISO 14001

    ; introduced recycled and/or environmentally preferable products into other

    operational areas, such as using:

    ; recycled-content paper that meets the federal standards for all printing and

    publishing needs (e.g. brochures, advertising, catalogs)

    ; attempting to promote renewable resources ( products)

    ; vehicle maintenance products (e.g. re-refined oil, antifreeze, retread tires)

    and/or alternative fuel vehicles for deliveries

    ; Energy Star (energy efficient) office equipment

IX. Product Specific Performance Requirements

    The product performance requirements as established by the Green Seal standard GS-37 represents the minimum performance requirements for products submitted under this RFR. Each product as used when diluted with water from the cold tap at no more than 50?F, must clean common soils and surfaces in its category effectively, as measured by a

    standard test method. Green Seal recommends the following test methods:

General-purpose cleaners. The product must remove at least 80% of the particulate soil

    in the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D4488-95, A5.

Bathroom cleaners. The product must remove at least 75% of the soil in ASTM D5343

    as measured by ASTM D5343.

Glass cleaners. The product must achieve at least a rating of three in each of the

    following categories established by the American Chemistry Council (formerly called the Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association - CSMA) DCC 09: soil removal, smearing, and streaking.

    Using standard test methods, a manufacturer can also demonstrate that its product performs as well as a nationally recognized product in its category or achieves the removal efficiency defined in this section.

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