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SC Johnson pressed on ingredient disclosure for professional products

Workers - Cleaners ©auremar - stock.adobe.com

Cleaning products giant SC Johnson has been accused of 'lagging behind’ other companies in disclosing the ingredients in its professional products.

Earlier this month, the US conglomerate announced an initiative to reveal the fragrance ingredients in its consumer products down to 0.01% of content.

But the disclosure programme does not extend to products sold under its SC Johnson Professional brands, which are marketed to professional customers, such as commercial distributors and building service contractors.

Under California’s Cleaning Products Right to Know Act (SB258) all ingredients in cleaning products – including those for professional use –must be shared on manufacturer websites by 1 January 2020, and on product labels one year later.

Alexandra Scranton, director of science and research at the US NGO, Women Voices for the Earth, praised SC Johnson as "a leader" for already coming into compliance with SB258 for consumer products, but said it was "odd" this wasn’t extended to its professional range.

"Disclosure of ingredients to cleaning workers, working all day with cleaning products, is a crucial step towards improving worker health and allowing them to avoid potential harm from ingredients they are exposed to," she said.

Kelly Semrau, a vice president at SC Johnson, told Chemical Watch: "SC Johnson Professional will disclose ingredients in its products by 2020, and is in the process of evaluating the best ways to provide ingredient information to professional users."

‘Lagging behind’

SC Johnson Professional’s disclosure effort is "lagging behind" other cleaning products companies such as Clorox and Reckitt Benckiser (RB), Ms Scanton added.

Clorox currently discloses basic ingredients for its Clorox Commercial Solutions products and RB does so for its Lysol Professional product.   

However, neither companies are currently disclosing fragrance ingredients for their commercial products, with the exception of some fragrance allergens.

An RB spokesperson said the company was "a proud supporter" of SB258 and is preparing its website and on-product labels with "comprehensive ingredient disclosures for both retail and professional products with an aim to be fully compliant ahead of the official deadlines".

Clorox had not responded to Chemical Watch’s request for comment at the time of publication.

Working towards compliance 

Brian Sansoni, a vice president at trade association, the American Cleaning Institute, told Chemical Watch that companies are "in the process of meeting the ingredient disclosure requirements by the dates prescribed under SB258 for both consumer and commercial cleaning products".

The most important information about commercial cleaning products is "the safety and usage information for each specific product, as well as the proper education and training for those who use these products in commercial and institutional settings," he added. 

Also, he said that under the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha) rules chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers are required to provide safety data sheets (SDSs), which provide detailed information about chemicals used in commercial settings.

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