Updated December 14, 2021
This specification covers a wide variety of concentrated cleaners as well as related dilution and dispensing equipment, in addition to a limited number of ready-to-use cleaners. They are divided into the following sub-categories:
A. Concentrated Bathroom Cleaners, Non-disinfecting and Non-sanitizing Only (including concentrated restroom cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, grout cleaners and whiteners, descalers, mold and mildew cleaners, and toilet/urinal cleaners, etc.)
B. Concentrated Carpet, Rug and Upholstery Cleaners (including concentrated pre-spray, spot and stain removers, carpet shampoos and bonnet cleaners, etc.)
C. Concentrated Degreasers (including concentrated cleaner-degreasers, grease trap cleaners, etc.)
D. Concentrated Floor Cleaners (including concentrated neutral floor cleaners, dust and damp mop cleaners, etc.)
E. Concentrated General Purpose Cleaners (including also all-purpose and multi-purpose cleaners, peroxide-based cleaners, etc.)
F. Concentrated Glass Cleaners (including also window, mirror and computer screen cleaners)
G. Concentrated Enzymatic Restroom Cleaners
H. Ready-To-Use General-Purpose Cleaners and Glass Cleaners (products that do not require dilution before use)
New York State follows guidance from federal regulatory agencies and procurement standards such as Massachusetts’ green cleaning contract. NYS is bound by Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Article 35 that restricts the amount of 1,4 dioxane in cleaning products. See Article 35 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law for 1,4-dioxane concentration limits and dates of effect.
Standard Setting and Certification Programs
American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) – is a standard-setting organization whose standards apply to components of the plumbing system. These standards, with a heavy emphasis on backflow prevention devices, are used by national and local codes throughout the country.
Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) – is a non-profit organization committed to improving the practice of occupational and environmental health through information sharing and collaborative research.
Green Seal – is a non-profit, independent, third-party standard-setting and certification organization that follows the Guiding Principles and Procedures for Type I Environmental Labeling adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 14024). Green Seal has developed environmental standards and certifies products for more than 40 major product categories. It has a number of standards for general purpose cleaning products.
UL EcoLogo – is an independent, third-party standard-setting and certification program that follows the Guiding Principles and Procedures for Type I Environmental Labeling adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 14024). Since its establishment in 1988, EcoLogo has been recognized or referenced in more than 350 specifications and standards. It has a number of standards for general purpose cleaners.
General Purpose Cleaners
All affected entities shall purchase cleaning products that comply with the chemical restriction provisions of Article 35 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law.
No general purpose cleaning products in aerosol containers may be purchased.
Third-Party Certifications All general purpose cleaning products shall be certified by one of the following: Green Seal, UL Ecologo (applicable standards listed below), or US EPA Safer Choice.
A. Green Seal Standards
- Green Seal GS-8 (2020), Cleaning Products for Household Use
- Green Seal GS-34 (2017), Cleaning and Degreasing Agents
- Green Seal GS-37 (2020), Cleaning Products for Industrial and Institutional Use
- Green Seal GS-53 (2020), Specialty Cleaning Products for Industrial and Institutional Use
B. UL EcoLogo Standards
NOTE: Products that only meet UL's other standards, such as GREENGUARD, do not meet the requirements of this specification unless expressly noted.
- UL EcoLogo 2759 (2011), Standard for Sustainability for Hard Surface Cleaners
- UL EcoLogo 2791 (2012), Standard for Sustainability for Drain and/or Grease Trap Additives: Biologically based
- UL EcoLogo 2792 (2012), Standard for Sustainability for Cleaning and Degreasing Compounds: Biologically based NOTE: this standard does not prohibit asthmagens (unlike GS-37 and UL EcoLogo 2759). If a product is certified under UL EcoLogo 2792, it must also be devoid of asthmagens with the following designations: respiratory sensitizers (Rs or RRs), or generally accepted asthmagens (G) as defined by the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC), which can be found at http://www.aoecdata.org/ExpCodeLookup.aspx
- UL EcoLogo 2795 (2012), Standard for Sustainability for Carpet and Upholstery Care Products
C. US EPA Safer Choice:
Products may be viewed at https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/products. This excludes all products where the parent company is overdue for their yearly partnership review and is identified with a double dagger (‡) next to the company name in the safer choice product list.
Concentrated Products and Dilution Systems
Agencies shall procure dilution equipment which is made available free of charge for all concentrated cleaning products, including wall and mobile units. All concentrated cleaners must be a Closed Loop Dilution-Control System that meets the following requirements:
- No open containers are allowed. The container must have "spill-resistant packaging" that requires coupling to a specially designed device in order to dispense the product.
- The container may not be able to be "practically accessed" during routine use. The packaging must not allow for access or exposure to the concentrated product after opening a cap or lid, or before or while connecting to the dispensing system.
- The container must contain a backflow prevention system that meets the current American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) 1055 standard.
Packaging shall comply with Environmental Conservation Law section 37-0205. Packaging shall not contain inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, or any other additives to which any lead, cadmium, mercury, or hexavalent chromium is intentionally added or contain incidental concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium which together are greater than 100 parts per million by weight (0.01%).
New York State encourages affected entities to adopt the following in order of preference when purchasing items that come in packaging:
- Items that do not need packaging, or the packaging is part of the product.
- Items that come in reusable packaging.
- Items that come in bulk packaging.
- Items that come in innovative packaging that reduces the amount of packaging.
- Items that come in packaging that remains the property of the supplier and does not become the property of the end user under any circumstance or condition. The vendor shall certify that the packaging material will be reused, recycled, or composted, and managed in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws.
- Items that come in packaging that maximizes recycled or biodegradable (compostable) content and/or meets or exceeds the minimum post-consumer content level for packaging in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines. Biodegradable products should only be used in areas where a composting facility exists that accept the material.
- Items that come in Packaging that is recyclable or biodegradable (compostable). Biodegradable products should only be used in areas where a composting facility exists and will accept the material.
An Introduction to Green Cleaning
Using the Environmentally Preferable Cleaning Products Contract (Group 39000, Award 22830)