The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Cleaning Product Ingredient Environmental Safety (CPIES)

environmental chemistry

The Cleaning Product Ingredient Environmental Safety (CPIES) evaluation was designed to further understand the environmental safety of ingredients used in household cleaning products. This project was designed to characterize ingredients that are contained in household cleaning products using a risk-based approach for aquatic receptors. The results can be used to determine if environmental risks are anticipated to be negligible or if additional data are required to make a more realistic assessment.

Importantly, ingredients in cleaning products serve a number of functions that are necessary for the effectiveness, storage stability, and ease of use of the product. A concise evaluation was conducted for a 220-ingredient subset of the cleaning product ingredient inventory housed by the American Cleaning Institute (ACI). The initial 220-ingredient subset was identified based on the highest frequency of an ingredient occurrence in products.

Project Focus

The focus of this evaluation was to provide initial information regarding potential exposures and toxicities of cleaning product ingredients to aquatic receptors downstream of wastewater treatment facilities within the United States (US).  Exposure potential is expected to be the greatest at these locations and represent a potential worst-case scenario, other than accidental spills.  Three general approaches were used to characterize ingredient risks as part of the CPIES evaluation and are listed below:


  1. Derivation of a hazard quotient (HQ) from a predicted environmental concentration (PEC) and predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) developed for specific ingredients.
  2. Summaries of existing US risk assessments with information pertinent to cleaning product ingredients in the US.
  3. Summaries of information pertinent to the US from existing international and other authoritative risk assessments for cleaning products.

Derived HQs were calculated using protective assumptions; therefore, the results represent an initial screen of ingredients and can be further refined to be more representative of real-world conditions.  Summaries of documents containing information relevant to risk (i.e., exposure and toxicity information) often contained limited exposure data and therefore a final hazard quotient could not be calculated.  Nonetheless, toxicity information can be used to evaluate if ingredients have very low toxicities and are low priority for further evaluation or if ingredients require further evaluation.

Additional Information