Every substance has some level of risk – even table salt can be harmful. What’s important is how much and how we use it.
Too much of any substance can be dangerous. For example, drinking too much water in one sitting can cause water intoxication, and consuming too much table salt can increase blood pressure and cause strain on the heart, arteries, kidneys, and brain.
As with all ingredients in cleaning products, preservatives are included only in the amount that’s necessary to ensure the product can do its job. Preservatives are used to help slow or prevent the growth of potentially harmful microbes, such as bacteria, yeasts, and molds, in cleaning products. Even though preservatives are a key component of a product’s formulation, they are added only at levels that have been demonstrated to be safe for human health and the environment.
In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets strict safety standards for how preservatives are used in cleaning products based on robust and standardized scientific approaches. These regulations require a minimum level to provide effective preservation, as well as mandate a maximum level to ensure consumer safety. Further, the maximum level adheres to an EPA-mandated safety margin, which only allows the use of the preservative at a concentration well-below the recognized safety limit (the concentration that may potentially cause harm).
Cleaning product formulators take great care to responsibly create products that comply with these federal regulations – and utilize preservative ingredients well within the approved ranges. Furthermore, the EPA regularly reviews the preservative category to ensure the type and amount of preservatives being used are safe.
Preservatives provide significant benefits to cleaning products, including maintaining high quality, preventing spoilage, and extending shelf life. Cleaning products are responsibly formulated using the lowest necessary amount of preservative and manufactured in compliance with regulations set by the EPA. As a result, consumers can be confident that their exposure to preservatives in cleaning products is minimal and well-within safety limits.