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Cleaning Paradigm Shifts of the 21st Century - Part Three: Regulatory

As a reminder from Parts One and Two: A paradigm is a way of looking at something from a different viewpoint. A paradigm shift is the action, trend, or movement away from the status quo, or “trending in a new direction”. We’ve talked a lot about change, and as we’ve pointed out, change happens (especially in our industry) for reasons that include, but are not limited to innovation, education, standardization and especially, regulation.

Our previous two parts in this series focused on evolving and transformative changes in the cleaning industry. This final piece will focus on regulatory. As we also noted earlier in the series, changes can be interpreted as progressive and for the better while others may seem regressive, depending on your point of view.  

When reviewing the definition of regulation, in all its various forms, it simply boils down to this, “of or relating to the control or direction by a set of rules or law.” In other words, some authoritative entity has told you what you must do and how you must do it, whether you agree or not.

We’d like to point out that our goal here is not to establish a position, but rather to educate you as to what is happening and what we are doing to support you with products and systems to be successful, while maintaining compliance with any new regulatory requirements.  

REGULATORY CHANGESAdobeStock_467423416

We discussed earlier in this series, the requirements to limit VOC’s in cleaning solutions. This regulation has been in place in California for over 20 years. Some further limits have been implemented in other areas of usage, but no other major changes for the past little while. These regulations can be complex as each cleaning category can have a different limit in the formulation. Various label instructions and classification can put the formula into a different category, which can change the VOC limit. This regulation is second nature to us and virtually every product made by us can be sold in every jurisdiction in the United States.  


There have been laws passed to increase the disclosure of all ingredients, especially those that may have been known to cause cancer or reproductive harm. We have detailed ingredient disclosures on our labels and a listing on our websites. The labels list all ingredients above a certain percentage, while the ingredient list online has ALL the ingredients intentionally added to the formula. 

As an example, we have some fragrances with 31 ingredients listed online, but all 31 ingredients only make up .1% of the entire formula. The attention to detail is demanding. However, we have been compliant with this regulation for several years now and our chemist has no recollection of any questions from the public about these listings.


An extension of the ingredient disclosure is the California Prop 65 Regulation. Initially, it was a guide for the primary intended ingredients in formulations. This caused us to change a few ingredients in some of our products based on their listings. However, trace ingredients now need to be reported. Any allowable limits need to have a test to confirm no ill effects. This means that every formula with a possible trace ingredient needs to be tested to assure that the ingredient is not detected in its usage. The result of this testing is we now must list any trace ingredients reported by the raw material supplier that may have been known to cause cancer or reproductive harm.

This new regulation has resulted in the Prop 65 warning to appear on the majority of our labels. As an example of the confusion explained above, we’ve determined that 70% of our ingredients that have Prop 65 reporting requirements, are also on the EPA Safer Ingredient List. While this seems like a conflicting ideology, it’s the law, which we must follow. Furthermore, our top tier raw material suppliers monitor this closely and will add or drop Prop 65 warnings on a regular basis. A recent change of just one primary ingredient resulted in 80 label and SDS changes.


By now you’ve likely heard about the banning or restricting of fluorocarbon protectors for soft surfaces. California and Maine were first to implement this ban back in 2022, with Colorado adding to the ban effective January 1st of this year. Minnesota, Illinois, and New York will add to the ban on 1/1/25. Our hunch is this will likely top out around 18 states unless the EPA gets involved. Currently they have chosen to leave it up to the states to govern themselves. As of this writing, no restrictions have been placed on hard surface impregnating sealers or finishes that use fluorocarbons in their formulas.  

Fluorocarbon protectors offer exceptional repellency to water, oil and dry soils. This aids in the ability to clean more easily, stay cleaner longer and prolong the lifecycle of fabrics and fibers. Some of these products in their finished form also contain acid dye resistors which significantly reduces staining, especially on nylon and wool.

There have been some improvements in polymer base protectors (no PFAS) in repelling water and dry soils. However, as of this writing, there is no polymer base protector that offers any marketable or noticeable defense against oil. This presents concern as the most common carpet fiber currently sold is polyester, which has an affinity for oils. This makes the choice of polyester carpet and fabric in these states problematic. This will likely result in more frequent cleaning, more aggressive chemistry, and potentially premature replacement. Nylon and wool should be less affected by these restrictions as their greatest enemy is staining. Acid dye resistors are still available in some quality polymer base protectors such as Bridgepoint’s Maxim SOS.

We will continue to monitor this closely and make the industry aware of any changes or updates in raw material options, new technology and/or any further regulatory changes.

Finally, as time goes on, you will continue to see changes on product labels. There are significant regulatory changes that include, but are not limited to ingredient disclosures, Prop 65 warnings, language, and safety. We’ve always prided ourselves on our labels and felt it was one of the best marketing tools we had. We listed all current and pertinent regulatory info but also listed detailed descriptions and instructions of the products themselves. Now, with the regulation changes currently taking place, these could be referred to more as “regulatory” labels than “product” labels. You will begin to see double stacked or 2-tier labels so all regulatory and language requirements can be met.

In short, government compliance is part of the world we live in. Perspective of the changes brought about by regulation will vary according to an individual’s beliefs. As a responsible manufacturer, and a steward of the environment, we will continue our commitment of doing the right thing for our industry, our customers, our employees, the general public, and of course, our government(s).

Whether Transformative, Evolving or Regulation, change is coming.


Missed Part One or Two? Read Them Below:

Cleaning Paradigm Shifts of the 21st Century- Part One

Cleaning Paradigm Shifts of the 21st Century- Part Two




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