Status of microbial based cleaning products in statutory regulations and ecolabelling in Europe, the USA, and Canada: te

Armin Spök, George Arvanitakis, Gwendolyn McClung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Cleaning products containing living microorganisms as active ingredients are increasingly being used in household, professional and industrial cleaning applications. Microorganisms can degrade soiling associated with dirt, food residues, and grease by enzymatic and metabolic action and out-compete microorganisms associated with odor problems. Their potential for odor control seems to result in a competitive advantage over conventional chemically-based cleaning products. Moreover, producers of microbial-based cleaning products (MBCPs) claim that their products are less harmful to the environment. These promising prospects have triggered interest from consumer and environmental organizations, professional users, and regulators in understanding if there are also possible negative health and environmental impacts which require attention and how the safety of these products is ensured. Unfortunately, there is little information on these issues in the public domain. Moreover, regulatory oversight in Europe is essentially limited to pathogenic properties in the context of worker protection. Canada, in contrast, has a regulatory framework in place to assess risks to human health and the environment from the manufacture, import and/or use of new microorganisms contained in MBCPs. In the absence of mandatory standards, safety assessment and hygienic practices seem to vary considerably across companies. Recently developed ecolabelling standards are - for the time being - the only option for transparent compliance to minimum standards in terms of safety as well as assessments of manufacturer information by third parties. These standards highlight in particular the need for precise taxonomic information for assessing the pathogenic properties and the need to ensure the absence of potentially harmful microorganisms as contaminants. Ecolabelling standards are, however, voluntary and do not cover all relevant safety issues. In order to develop a more comprehensive set of mandatory standards for health and safety, a number of areas would benefit from further research (e.g. the role in plant pathogenicity and other environmental properties of the microorganisms used; the relevance of chronic exposure to dusts and aerosols containing vegetative cells and spores; the relevance of strains which belong to species known to include opportunistic pathogens and possible hazards for particularly sensitive risk groups). Improved knowledge in these areas will contribute to a predictable level of product safety.

LanguageEnglish
Pages10-19
Number of pages10
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Volume116
Issue numberA
DOIs
StatusPublished - Jun 2018

Fingerprint

cleaning agents
ecolabeling
Microorganisms
Canada
Cleaning
microorganisms
Safety
product safety
safety assessment
Health
Consumer Organizations
Odor control
odor control
risk groups
Public Sector
vegetative cells
Lubricating greases
Odors
Pathogens
chronic exposure

Keywords

  • Bacteria
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Biological Factors
  • Canada
  • Detergents
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Product Labeling
  • Risk Assessment
  • United States
  • Journal Article
  • Review

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology

Cite this

Status of microbial based cleaning products in statutory regulations and ecolabelling in Europe, the USA, and Canada : te. / Spök, Armin; Arvanitakis, George; McClung, Gwendolyn.

In: Food and Chemical Toxicology, Vol. 116, No. A, 06.2018, p. 10-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

@article{5193600acbf64524bf363e7ea1538b70,
title = "Status of microbial based cleaning products in statutory regulations and ecolabelling in Europe, the USA, and Canada: te",
abstract = "Cleaning products containing living microorganisms as active ingredients are increasingly being used in household, professional and industrial cleaning applications. Microorganisms can degrade soiling associated with dirt, food residues, and grease by enzymatic and metabolic action and out-compete microorganisms associated with odor problems. Their potential for odor control seems to result in a competitive advantage over conventional chemically-based cleaning products. Moreover, producers of microbial-based cleaning products (MBCPs) claim that their products are less harmful to the environment. These promising prospects have triggered interest from consumer and environmental organizations, professional users, and regulators in understanding if there are also possible negative health and environmental impacts which require attention and how the safety of these products is ensured. Unfortunately, there is little information on these issues in the public domain. Moreover, regulatory oversight in Europe is essentially limited to pathogenic properties in the context of worker protection. Canada, in contrast, has a regulatory framework in place to assess risks to human health and the environment from the manufacture, import and/or use of new microorganisms contained in MBCPs. In the absence of mandatory standards, safety assessment and hygienic practices seem to vary considerably across companies. Recently developed ecolabelling standards are - for the time being - the only option for transparent compliance to minimum standards in terms of safety as well as assessments of manufacturer information by third parties. These standards highlight in particular the need for precise taxonomic information for assessing the pathogenic properties and the need to ensure the absence of potentially harmful microorganisms as contaminants. Ecolabelling standards are, however, voluntary and do not cover all relevant safety issues. In order to develop a more comprehensive set of mandatory standards for health and safety, a number of areas would benefit from further research (e.g. the role in plant pathogenicity and other environmental properties of the microorganisms used; the relevance of chronic exposure to dusts and aerosols containing vegetative cells and spores; the relevance of strains which belong to species known to include opportunistic pathogens and possible hazards for particularly sensitive risk groups). Improved knowledge in these areas will contribute to a predictable level of product safety.",
keywords = "Bacteria, Biodegradation, Environmental, Biological Factors, Canada, Detergents, Europe, Humans, Product Labeling, Risk Assessment, United States, Journal Article, Review",
author = "Armin Sp{\"o}k and George Arvanitakis and Gwendolyn McClung",
note = "Crown Copyright {\circledC} 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.",
year = "2018",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1016/j.fct.2017.12.057",
language = "English",
volume = "116",
pages = "10--19",
journal = "Food and Chemical Toxicology",
issn = "0278-6915",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "A",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Status of microbial based cleaning products in statutory regulations and ecolabelling in Europe, the USA, and Canada

T2 - Food and Chemical Toxicology

AU - Spök,Armin

AU - Arvanitakis,George

AU - McClung,Gwendolyn

N1 - Crown Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PY - 2018/6

Y1 - 2018/6

N2 - Cleaning products containing living microorganisms as active ingredients are increasingly being used in household, professional and industrial cleaning applications. Microorganisms can degrade soiling associated with dirt, food residues, and grease by enzymatic and metabolic action and out-compete microorganisms associated with odor problems. Their potential for odor control seems to result in a competitive advantage over conventional chemically-based cleaning products. Moreover, producers of microbial-based cleaning products (MBCPs) claim that their products are less harmful to the environment. These promising prospects have triggered interest from consumer and environmental organizations, professional users, and regulators in understanding if there are also possible negative health and environmental impacts which require attention and how the safety of these products is ensured. Unfortunately, there is little information on these issues in the public domain. Moreover, regulatory oversight in Europe is essentially limited to pathogenic properties in the context of worker protection. Canada, in contrast, has a regulatory framework in place to assess risks to human health and the environment from the manufacture, import and/or use of new microorganisms contained in MBCPs. In the absence of mandatory standards, safety assessment and hygienic practices seem to vary considerably across companies. Recently developed ecolabelling standards are - for the time being - the only option for transparent compliance to minimum standards in terms of safety as well as assessments of manufacturer information by third parties. These standards highlight in particular the need for precise taxonomic information for assessing the pathogenic properties and the need to ensure the absence of potentially harmful microorganisms as contaminants. Ecolabelling standards are, however, voluntary and do not cover all relevant safety issues. In order to develop a more comprehensive set of mandatory standards for health and safety, a number of areas would benefit from further research (e.g. the role in plant pathogenicity and other environmental properties of the microorganisms used; the relevance of chronic exposure to dusts and aerosols containing vegetative cells and spores; the relevance of strains which belong to species known to include opportunistic pathogens and possible hazards for particularly sensitive risk groups). Improved knowledge in these areas will contribute to a predictable level of product safety.

AB - Cleaning products containing living microorganisms as active ingredients are increasingly being used in household, professional and industrial cleaning applications. Microorganisms can degrade soiling associated with dirt, food residues, and grease by enzymatic and metabolic action and out-compete microorganisms associated with odor problems. Their potential for odor control seems to result in a competitive advantage over conventional chemically-based cleaning products. Moreover, producers of microbial-based cleaning products (MBCPs) claim that their products are less harmful to the environment. These promising prospects have triggered interest from consumer and environmental organizations, professional users, and regulators in understanding if there are also possible negative health and environmental impacts which require attention and how the safety of these products is ensured. Unfortunately, there is little information on these issues in the public domain. Moreover, regulatory oversight in Europe is essentially limited to pathogenic properties in the context of worker protection. Canada, in contrast, has a regulatory framework in place to assess risks to human health and the environment from the manufacture, import and/or use of new microorganisms contained in MBCPs. In the absence of mandatory standards, safety assessment and hygienic practices seem to vary considerably across companies. Recently developed ecolabelling standards are - for the time being - the only option for transparent compliance to minimum standards in terms of safety as well as assessments of manufacturer information by third parties. These standards highlight in particular the need for precise taxonomic information for assessing the pathogenic properties and the need to ensure the absence of potentially harmful microorganisms as contaminants. Ecolabelling standards are, however, voluntary and do not cover all relevant safety issues. In order to develop a more comprehensive set of mandatory standards for health and safety, a number of areas would benefit from further research (e.g. the role in plant pathogenicity and other environmental properties of the microorganisms used; the relevance of chronic exposure to dusts and aerosols containing vegetative cells and spores; the relevance of strains which belong to species known to include opportunistic pathogens and possible hazards for particularly sensitive risk groups). Improved knowledge in these areas will contribute to a predictable level of product safety.

KW - Bacteria

KW - Biodegradation, Environmental

KW - Biological Factors

KW - Canada

KW - Detergents

KW - Europe

KW - Humans

KW - Product Labeling

KW - Risk Assessment

KW - United States

KW - Journal Article

KW - Review

U2 - 10.1016/j.fct.2017.12.057

DO - 10.1016/j.fct.2017.12.057

M3 - Review article

VL - 116

SP - 10

EP - 19

JO - Food and Chemical Toxicology

JF - Food and Chemical Toxicology

SN - 0278-6915

IS - A

ER -