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Rug Institute Drops Green Seal

The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) will no longer recognize Green Seal's GS-37 Standard as a Green Certification for its Seal of Approval Cleaning Solutions, citing shortcomings in the process used to develop this environmental standard.

CRI, a source for science-based info on carpets and rugs, said Green Seal failed to follow its own written guidelines for consensus standard-setting, "specifically in the areas of stakeholder input and risk assessment. GS-37 is flawed and CRI cannot support it," said CRI president Werner Braun. GS-37 is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a standard-setting body.

CRI outlined its concerns: "GS-37 measures product efficacy against a 'nationally recognized' product rather than against an approved standard." Further, "Green Seal did not allow the participation of all stakeholders in the development process for GS-37, and GS-37 arbitrarily bans chemicals according to a list, without regard for proper risk assessment - a practice which runs contrary to accepted scientific practices."

In addition, at various points, CRI continued, "It seemed that peer-reviewed scientific data was discounted in favor of preconceived bias on the part of the standard developers."

CRI had earlier accepted GS-37 as a component for its Seal of Approval Green designation, which identifies spot cleaners, pre-sprays and in-tank cleaning solutions that are environmentally responsible as well as effective.

CRI continues to recognize the U.S. EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) certification, as well as the Canadian government's EcoLogo and EnviroDesic certifications.

Products that were certified under a previous version of GS-37 will retain their SOA Green designations, Braun said.

Braun said he expects the company to follow the ANSI process of standard development. He added that CRI would reconsider its decision if Green Seal were to "reopen the GS-37 standard and develop it in an environment that respects the consensus standard-setting process."

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