Design for the Environment (DfE) Certification

Looking to obtain the Design for the Environment (DfE) label for your antimicrobial products? TSG’s regulatory consultants can help. We offer expert support in identifying and meeting the strict standards set by US EPA for human health, environmental impact, and product performance. This includes support in reporting acute toxicological testing and antimicrobial efficacy requirements in alignment with DfE program standards. 

What is DfE certification and why have it?

Design for the Environment eco-label certification is part of a family of certifications put forward by the Safer Choice program, managed by the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP). Maintained by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), the DfE program is a way for consumers and commercial buyers to identify antimicrobial products, such as disinfectants and sanitizers, that minimize the risk to human health and the environment.

Seeing the DfE logo on a product gives consumers and purchasers the confidence that the product meets stringent US EPA criteria for efficacy and effects on human health and the environment.

While there are many eco-labels on the market, this logo is supported by scientific standards backed by the objectiveness of the US Federal Government. Design for the Environment certification also allows for companies to gain access to preferred purchasing programs like Amazon Climate Pledge Friendly, the federal government Environmentally Preferred Purchasing, and help LEED buildings gain points by using these products.

How TSG can help

  • Assess products to identify if they meet the DfE program standards
  • Prepare and submit DfE product registrations
  • Determine the appropriate program, Safer Choice (degreaser, cleaner etc.) or Design for the Environment (disinfectant, sanitizer), for a product registration
  • Support in label development for using the eco-labels
  • Provide support in reporting acute toxicological testing and efficacy requirements to be aligned with DfE program standards

Looking for help in becoming Design for Environment (DfE) certified?


TSG provides companies with high-quality regulatory and scientific consulting services. We aim to understand our clients' goals and objectives, learn the scientific and technical aspects of projects and anticipate compliance challenges to plan a strategic path forward. TSG's team of experts is deadline-focused, responsive and committed to professionalism. We have the utmost respect for the confidentiality of our work, strong project management skills, and take great measure to cultivate long-term partnerships with clients.

Our federal regulatory professionals

Our team of federal regulatory consultants help clients with all aspects of regulatory compliance covering product development and global regulation strategy for pesticide and cleaning products. Our Safer Choice and Design for the Environment team is led by Jonathan Walsh and Perri Moeller.

Design for Environment (DfE) - frequently asked questions

Both the Safer Choice and DfE program are run out of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety Pollution and Prevention (OCSPP). Safer Choice is the program for chemicals that fall within the federal framework for TSCA, while the DfE program is for public health products that fall within the FIFRA legislation. To meet the requirements for DfE a product must meet the standards for Safer Choice in addition to meeting the disinfection and/or sanitization product performance standards set forth under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

Currently there are 8 approved active ingredients that would allow for a product to be considered under the DfE program. These active ingredients have been assessed for their acute toxicological and environmental persistence properties. SaferChoice and DfE does accept applications to add chemicals to this list. The approved actives are:

  • Citric acid
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • L-lactic acid
  • Ethanol
  • Isopropanol
  • Peroxyacetic acid
  • Sodium bisulfate
  • Chitosan

The Safer Choice and DfE programs require a comprehensive review of the entire product formulation. The program takes into consideration the hazard effects of all ingredients in a product, which include the active ingredients, inert ingredients and impurities. There are also product performance standards that must be met, and packaging requirements as well. Interested in obtaining a DfE certification for your product? We can support you. Get in touch with our team: [email protected]  

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