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Cleaners: Definitions

This glossary includes key terms from the Guide and may be used as a companion to the text.


A chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways that impairs breathing.
basic information gathered before a program begins that is used later to provide a comparison for assessing program impact
process whereby harmful substances concentrate or magnify as they move up the food chain.
products composed in whole or in significant part of biological products, forestry materials, or renewable domestic agricultural materials, including plant, animal, or marine materials, generally safer for the environment than petroleum-based counterparts, and usually biodegradable or recyclable.
Chemicals listed as known, probably, reasonably anticipated or possible human cancer causing agents.
Product that must be diluted by water prior to its use.
multi-attribute environmental certification managed by the Government of Canada
Endocrine disruptor
chemical that interferes with the normal function of a living organism's endrocrine system
Environmentally preferable
products and services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared to other products and services that serve the same purpose.
General-Purpose Cleaner
Multi-attribute environmental certification managed by Grean Seal, a non-profit organization devoted to environmental standard setting and product certification.
An additive used in a product with the purpose of giving a scent to that product.
Hazardous substance
1. material posing a threat to human health and/or the environment, that can be toxic, corrosive, ignitable, explosive, or chemically reactive 2. substance that must be reported to the EPA if released into the environment. 
An organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
a building rating system developed by the US Green Building Council, includes standards for several types of buildings
Material Safety Data Sheet
A list of hazardous material present in a product along with a detailed description of each hazardous material.
Any substance produced by a chemical reaction.
Post-Consumer Material
Material that would otherwise be destined for solid waste disposal, having completed it enteded end-use and product life cycle.
Fog that has become mixed with and polluted by smoke
Skin Sensitizer
A substance that will lead to an allergic response following skin contact.
A main ingredient found in detergents that woks to reduce the surface tension of water so that substances like dirt and grease can be absorbed.
Toxic substance
a chemical or mixture that may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment
Volatile organic compound (VOC)
organic compound that typically vaporizes at room temperature and participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions