Revisiting Green Cleaners
Foundation Findings #57 - May 2018
How can we measure "GREEN"
This is the second time we tested "green" boat cleaners. Some of the products from our last test in 2009 are no longer available, and lots of new cleaners have since entered the market as more boaters have embraced these alternatives. Clearly, it was time for a new test.
We started this green cleaners test with two questions: What does "green" mean when it comes to the products we all use to clean our boats, and how well do they clean?
In 2009, some products we looked at were marked with the "Design For The Environment" logo, now called "Safer Choice," a certification initiative by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help consumers make smarter choices. Products with the Safer Choice logo contain ingredients that have been screened, but not tested, by EPA. This means that where two or more ingredients perform the same function, the one with the lesser environmental impact has been chosen and incorporated into the final product. Booyah Clean was the only product in our test carrying the Safer Choice logo.
Off To The Lab
Finally, for the nonpartial scientific evaluation of the impact, if any, that these cleaners could have on the environment, samples of each cleaner were sent to the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, Maryland, to assess the cleaners for their effect on marine life. Testing was carried out under the auspices of Dr. Carys Mitchelmore, a professor at the university and expert in this type of research.
To test each product, a sample was mixed according to the manufacturer's instructions then combined with a consistent, measured amount of seawater containing 10 neonatal mysida (Americamysis bahia). Mysida are small shrimp-like crustaceans, also called opossum shrimp, which have long been used as test subjects as there is considerable data regarding their sensitivity to myriad environmental contaminants.