At Clorox, the safety of you, your family, pets and the environment is a top priority. Our scientists and other highly skilled personnel from our Global Stewardship and Product Safety and Regulatory Compliance departments evaluate a product's safety, efficacy and regulatory compliance before it makes it to store shelves. When you bring home a Clorox product, you can be assured that the testing we've done helps provide you with accurate instructions, warnings and first-aid statements to ensure it is safe when used as directed.
Our safety assessments begin with analysis of each of the materials that go into making the product. This includes consideration of short-term and long-term impact from all types of exposures, including incidental or accidental, and routes of exposure such as skin, eye, ingestion and inhalation. Pet safety is also considered in our assessments.
Another key component of safety is ensuring consumers understand how to safely use, store, and dispose of the product and its packaging. Our labels include clear directions for use, precautionary statements, first-aid measures, and storage and disposal. Additional safeguards such as child-resistant packaging are incorporated for certain products.
Product Safety Steps
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All products manufactured and distributed in the U.S. are subject to local, state and federal regulations. To comply, we perform safety testing, meet labeling guidelines of regulatory agencies, and adhere to applicable regulations for all ingredients and ingredient formulations that make up our products.
Products classified as antimicrobials, such as disinfectants or sanitizers, which represent approximately 27 percent of our U.S. product portfolio, are subject to registration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These formulations undergo detailed EPA review of the chemistry, efficacy and toxicology aspects of the formulation before approval for market. Labeling and packaging of these products are strictly governed by the EPA with predetermined criteria based on the nature of the product.
More on Product Safety
Fragrances, Dyes, Preservatives and Mixtures
Our safety evaluation also includes the assessment of fragrances, dyes, and preservatives, and other proprietary ingredients, in our formulations.
In cases where information is proprietary to our suppliers, such as with some fragrances, dyes and preservatives, specific components in those ingredients are not listed. This approach is intended to protect proprietary formulas, consistent with the listing of cosmetic ingredients under federal regulations.
Ingredients purchased as a mixture from third-party suppliers list components identified on supplier Material Safety Data Sheets and Ingredient Fact/Data Sheets that have a technical effect in the production composition. Proprietary ingredients, including undisclosed components of mixtures, are listed using the chemical family name that identifies their role in our products.
Clorox requires all fragrances we purchase from third party suppliers comply with Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Inc. (RIFM) guidelines and recommendations, as well as International Fragrance Association (IFRA) standards, which define safe use levels of individual fragrance ingredients. These standards and guidelines are regularly updated to reflect new data and scientific developments. Our requirement for compliance with the RIFM and IFRA guidelines assures that known allergens are eliminated or restricted. This practice, combined with our comprehensive safety evaluation, has resulted in never having had a confirmed sensitization in consumer use of our products. We also provide a separate list of all the fragrance ingredients used in our household and professional cleaning, disinfecting and laundry products.
Additionally, as part of our Ingredients Inside program, we now voluntarily disclose the presence of all fragrance components identified as potential allergens by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety, an advisory board to the European Union, when they are present at a concentration of 0.01 percent or greater of the product.
Some Clorox products require the use of preservatives to help prevent the growth of microorganisms in product formulas. Based on scientific research, much of the concern around preservatives is related to skin sensitization, as many preservatives in high concentrations have the ability to cause allergic contact dermatitis.
Clorox products containing preservatives have preservative levels that are well below the threshold for skin sensitization. In any given Clorox product, a preservative is used at levels approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and typically does not exceed a range of 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent. Clorox products do not contain parabens, a class of preservatives that the scientific community has been scrutinizing for possible carcinogenicity and estrogenic effects.
Screening our ingredients
We know that what's not in our products can be just as important as what goes into them, so Clorox has established principles and guidelines to ensure new and existing formulations refrain from using ingredients scientifically proven to negatively impact human and environmental health including, but not limited to, Alkylphenol (APs) or Alkylphenol Ethoxylates (APEs), phosphates and phthalates. We also participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Design for Environment program*, and Clorox product safety specialists work with ingredient suppliers to help identify and avoid possible contaminants such as those identified on California's Proposition 65 and SARA Title III lists.
Clorox requests all of its fragrance suppliers to follow a series of strict guidelines for the ingredients used in any fragrance we purchase. For example, we specify that fragrances must not contain Alkylphenol (APs) or Alkylphenol Ethoxylates (APEs) including, but not limited to, Octylphenol Ethoxylates and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates; Musk Ambrette; Diacetyl; Musk Xylol; Polycyclic Musk; and Phthalates (such as DEP, BBP, DBP, DiBP, DPP, or DEHP).
*The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Design for the Environment Program aims to reduce risk to people and the environment by preventing pollution. Review teams screen product ingredients to ensure they pose the least concern among chemicals in their class.
Committed to a Future without Animal Testing
Clorox is committed to the welfare of animals. The vast majority of our products reach the market without testing on animals. In fact, using non-animal product safety evaluations is the norm at Clorox and animal testing is the very rare exception.
We do not conduct or ask third-parties to conduct any animal testing on products, raw materials or components of finished products unless required by federal or local regulators. And we will not license our name or the name of any of our brands to formulations of products that have been tested on animals.
We will not acquire or purchase product formulations or other products for use in our consumer products that have been tested on animals (except when such testing was done to meet the requirements of federal, state, local or other applicable regulations).
The rare exception to this policy is only when all other efforts have been exhausted to establish a product's safety profile; such exceptions require senior management approval, certifying there is no other way to proceed. In those rare instances, Clorox will conduct appropriate safety testing at an independent laboratory accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC). AAALAC promotes standards of animal welfare that exceed federal law and conducts regular inspections of their accredited laboratories.
We're working toward a future where animal testing has no role in product development. We believe that we should be able to use existing data and alternatives so animals are not involved in product safety testing. We are engaging regulators to join with us to identify and implement innovative solutions that eliminate the existing requirements to conduct animal testing, without compromising product safety. In collaboration with industry partners, we're working to foster new protocols and encourage regulatory acceptance of alternatives to conventional animal testing, particularly in the area of public health disinfectant products. Since 1987, we have been working with organizations such as the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing and the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, an independent foundation, to develop alternative testing methods.