News Masthead


March 7, 2012 12:01 AM
Contact: Brian Sansoni, 202-662-2517 (office)/ 202-680-9327 (mobile) or via email at

ACI Says Safety Built Into Cleaning Product DNA,
Refutes Study Designed to Scare Consumers

  • Publicity Campaign Distorts Research, Unfairly Targets Products Used Safely Every Day
  • Interest Group Ignores Wealth of Information Available About Cleaning Product Ingredients

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 8, 2012 – The American Cleaning Institute (ACI – formerly The Soap and Detergent Association) today expressed disappointment with research which wrongly raises unfounded safety concerns over cleaning products and ignores enhanced efforts to communicate with consumers about product ingredients.

"An enormous amount of research, development and testing takes place before cleaning products hit the shelves," said Richard Sedlak, ACI Executive Vice President, Technical & International Affairs. "Detailed safety assessments are conducted by companies throughout the life cycle of a product. In essence, safety is built into the DNA of cleaning product development and manufacturing."

ACI ( said that the paper – co-written by the interest group Silent Spring Institute in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives – distorts the established safety of ingredients used in cleaning products by inappropriately equating their detection with health issues.

"Despite the researchers’ insinuation of health concerns from the mere presence of these ingredients in everyday life, the research does not demonstrate that proper use of these products is contributing to health and safety problems. In reporting their results, the researchers failed to demonstrate the impact of their mixing ingredients from multiple products into single samples may have had in compromising the analytical results.

"It’s apparent through Silent Spring Institute’s publicity materials that they are disparaging dozens of products and ingredients that contribute to better hygiene, health and living every day."

ACI also rebutted criticisms about the supposed lack of available information about cleaning product ingredients.

The Consumer Product Ingredient Communication Initiative provides increased transparency under one of the most comprehensive ingredient communication consumer product programs in North America. Information about the Initiative is available at

Under the Initiative, companies are voluntarily sharing with consumers more information than ever about the ingredients in their products (air care products, automotive care products, cleaning products, and polishes and floor maintenance products). This information is found on product labels or company websites, via toll-free hotlines or other non-electronic means.

"It’s unfortunate that interest groups continually try to scare consumers about products that are used safely and effectively on a daily basis," said Sedlak. "ACI will continue to responsibly inform consumers, researchers and regulators about the detailed safety processes that are a part of cleaning product manufacturing."


The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI - formerly The Soap and Detergent Association) is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $30 billion U.S. cleaning products market. ACI members include the formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and oleochemical producers.

ACI ( and its members are dedicated to improving health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.