Created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the BioPreferred Program promotes the use and purchase of biobased products by federal agencies and the public. Manufacturers of biobased products can be certified under the BioPreferred Program as long as they meet the minimum biobased content requirement set by the USDA for each product category. Biobased bathroom and spa cleaners are examples of products included in the program.
Traditional cleaning products that contain a variety of chemicals are often associated with many environmental and health problems.1 Consumers are becoming more aware of these risks and are giving natural products a try. This shift in perception encourages manufacturers to create products made from agriculture, feedstocks, or forestry that consumers would want to buy and use.
With the rapidly growing consumer awareness of the health risks and the depleting supply of fossil fuel, biobased products are forecasted to see a huge growth over the next 10 years. Government policies promoting eco-friendly and naturally derived products are going to significantly drive the market even further.2
The BioPreferred Program describes bathroom and spa cleaners as products designed to clean or stop dirt buildup on surfaces found in bathrooms and spas including shower stalls, shower curtains, shower doors, bathtubs, tile floors, countertops, and many others. They can come in both concentrated and ready-to-use forms such as sprays.
For bathroom and spa cleaner products to be certified under the USDA BioPreferred Program, they must be at least 74% biobased as measured by ASTM D6866 analysis. These biobased cleaning products are made in large part of plant-based surfactants, natural fragrances and water.
Cleaning products are typically composed of various chemicals such as ammonia, phosphates, synthetic dyes and other ingredients. The petroleum-based raw materials being used to make the cleaning products are often the primary causes of concern for health safety considering the many ways people can be exposed to them. 3 Biobased bathroom and spa cleaners ideally get rid of all the harmful chemicals and replace the petrochemicals with ingredients sourced from plants.
The BioPreferred Program currently has 97 product categories. It has two initiatives – the Voluntary Labeling Program and the Federal Procurement Preference Program, which requires federal agencies and their contractors to purchase products with the highest biobased content. As of 2014, the program’s economic impact includes $393 billion value added to the U.S. economy and 4.2 million jobs through direct, indirect and induced contributions.5
ISO 17025-accredited Beta Analytic is not affiliated with the USDA, the BioPreferred Program or ASTM. The lab provides fast ASTM D6866 testing and welcomes inquiries from interested parties including BioPreferred Program applicants. Results are reported in 5-7 business days. A faster service is also available. Please contact the lab for price inquiries.
1. Martínez-Peña RM, Hoogesteijn AL, Rothenberg SJ, Cervera-Montejano MD, Pacheco-Ávila JG (2013) Cleaning Products, Environmental Awareness and Risk Perception in Mérida, Mexico. PLoS ONE 8(8): e74352 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0074352
2. Inkwood Research. Global Bio-Based Chemicals Market Forecast (Accessed January 2018).
3. Zota AR, Singla V, Adamkiewicz G, et al. Reducing chemical exposures at home: opportunities for action. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2017;71:937-940
4. USDA BioPreferred Program Product Categories (Accessed January 2018)
5. USDA BioPreferred Program. An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Product Industry: 2016 Update (PDF) (Accessed January 2018)