The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Ingredient Communication FAQs


Consumer Product Ingredient Communication Initiative
Commonly Asked Questions

What is the Consumer Product Ingredient Communication Initiative?

  • Member companies of the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA), and the Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association (CCSPA) are responding to consumer requests for ingredient information.
  • The goals of this voluntary program are:
    • to provide meaningful information on ingredients;
    • in a consistent, easy-to-understand, proactive manner;
    • that will help consumers make informed decisions about the products they use in and around their homes.

What are the elements of the initiative?

  • The initiative will include the disclosure of ingredients intentionally added to air care products, automotive products, cleaning products, and polishes and floor maintenance products. This includes many of the products used in and around the home, such as air fresheners, laundry detergents, dish care products, and floor waxes and polishes.
  • This information will be provided to consumers on the product’s label, the manufacturer’s website, through a toll-free number or through other non-electronic means (to assist those who do not have access to the Internet).
  • The program will become effective in January 2010. This will provide product manufacturers the necessary time to get the systems in place and develop the various mechanisms to reach consumers.
  • The format for ingredient listing will follow the format already in place under federal law for cosmetics. Ingredients present at a concentration greater than one percent (1%) will be listed in descending order by predominance. All other ingredients will be listed in an order determined by the product manufacturer.

How are these products currently regulated?

In the United States, these products must meet labeling requirements as established through the current system of risk evaluation and risk-based labeling under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) regulations for consumer products and administered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Through the FHSA regulations, the point of purchase label informs consumers about the potential hazards, product ingredients contributing to those hazards, appropriate handling and storage, and applicable first aid information.

In Canada, there are various laws which regulate ingredients and labels for consumer products. Ingredients that make up these product types are regulated under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) by Environment Canada and Health Canada. For product packages and labels, the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations (CCCR, 2001) by Health Canada contains packaging requirements for precautionary labeling to ensure that consumers are aware of the potential hazards if the products are not used correctly and safely.

Why is industry providing this ingredient information?

  • Our companies are responding to the changing desires of consumers and the marketplace.
  • This initiative builds upon the comprehensive labeling systems currently in Canada and the United States. It also complements the Canadian Chemicals Management Plan and the U.S. Chemical Assessment and Management Program (ChAMP).
  • Additionally, under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, both governments are committed to ensuring the safety of chemicals and working towards greater collaboration with respect to sharing data and information to ultimately protect our citizens and our environment. ACI, CSPA and CCSPA share the goals of that commitment and believe this initiative is consistent with that intent.


Guidance for Participating Companies

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI), the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA), and the Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association (CCSPA) have developed a voluntary ingredient communication initiative to provide consumers with information about the ingredients in products in four categories: air care, automotive care, cleaning, and polishes and floor maintenance products.

The guidance in this document is being provided to assist companies participating in the Initiative ("Participants"). All referenced sections in this document refer to the Consumer Product Ingredient Communication Model developed by CSPA, CCSPA, and ACI, unless otherwise noted.



Section II(b)(i) provides that ingredients may be identified using one or more of the following naming systems: International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI), International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) name, common chemical name.

Resources for accessing these naming systems include:

International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients

International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)

Chemical Abstract Service (CAS)

Common Chemical Name
Common chemical names are specific chemical names (as opposed to function or class descriptors) traditionally employed by the industry or the name recognized by the consumer where such name recognition has been established over a period of time. Ingredients that consist primarily of a specific chemical compound may have numerous common chemical names that differ from the INCI, IUPAC and CAS names. In some cases, common names for specific compounds may also be chemical class descriptors widely recognized by consumers, such as sodium chloride having the common name "salt".

Some other examples of common names for specific chemical compounds include:

  • Isopropyl alcohol for propan-2-ol
  • Potash for potassium carbonate
  • Lye for potassium/sodium hydroxide
  • Soda ash for sodium carbonate
  • Lime for calcium oxide
  • Baking soda for sodium bicarbonate
  • Epsom salt for hydrated magnesium sulfate
  • Urea for aminomethanamide


Confidential Business Information

Section II(b)(iii) of CSPA’s and ACI’s Initiative provides that ingredients may be listed by their chemical function and/or chemical class descriptors "where needed for protection of confidential business information."

Under this program, participants are not required to disclose information that has been claimed as confidential business information (CBI) under e