The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

ACI Statement: Study Examining Effects of Cleaning Product Chemicals


Washington, D.C. – February 16, 2018 – The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) issued the following statement in response to research published in the journal Science – and related news coverage – discussing the potential effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in consumer products, including cleaning products:

"The findings of research on the estimated emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in many consumer products, including some cleaning products, need to be put into the context of changes manufacturers have made in these products.

 "The fact is, in California – which is referenced in the study – regulators have placed limitations on the VOCs in most consumer products over the past three decades. Laundry and dishwashing products in particular have a minimal impact on VOC emissions overall through the selection of ingredients that biodegrade during wastewater treatment.

 "The authors themselves note in their study:

"Most organic compounds in soaps and detergents dissolve in water and end up in sewer systems, with negligible amounts emitted from wastewater treatment plants."

"Media reports on this research ignore the steps that have been taken by manufacturers to manage the VOC emissions from their products.

"It is important to remember that cleaning products serve a vital role in everyday life, contributing to healthy home and workplace environments when used as directed.

"The cleaning products industry has demonstrated its commitment to manufacturing sustainably while maintaining its social commitment to providing consumers of all economic levels with cost efficient cleaning products leading to improved hygiene."


The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI – 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.