Any potential ingredient on Earth – including oxygen and water – can be toxic at a high enough amount. And at a low enough exposure, everything is safe. So, every ingredient in an SC Johnson product must be assessed to determine how much is and is not safe. There are industry standards for safety, of course. But at SC Johnson, we go further.
We start with a hazard assessment using the information from our ongoing data collection. When there’s a potential hazard, we evaluate the ingredient to determine at what concentration it could be used, if at all, without any known adverse effects to human health or the environment. That’s the safe level.
Then, we conduct an additional assessment focused on exposure. SC Johnson scientists look at how a product is intended to be used and how it might be used by consumers. We consider the broadest likely use, and go beyond that, in selecting what ingredients we will use and at what level.
As an example, for a cleaning product most likely to be used once a week, we take it many steps further. We review what the level of exposure to an ingredient may be, assuming it is used not just once, but many more times in one day.
We also consider the variety of ways in which consumers may use or come into contact with a product, such as a glass cleaning product used on a kitchen counter to prepare food. We consider all of those usage scenarios, and will multiply them out even further to create an even greater, more conservative safety factor.
In each scenario, our goal is to determine the conservative “safer than safe” level. Then, that becomes the allowable concentration for SC Johnson scientists to continue product development.