FREQUENT ASKED QUESTIONS
According to the REG. 648/94 CE, which regulates the home cleaning sector, the detergents are all biodegradable over 90%, even the traditional ones. The main difference is that the biodegradability of traditional products does not exceed this percentage, while the ecological detergents reach up to 98%.
The differences between an ecological product and a traditional product are mainly the raw materials that compose them and the aerobic and anaerobic biodegradability. Usually ecological products are made with surfactants of vegetable origin (coconut oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil or other vegetable oils), while traditional products with surfactants of petrochemical origin. Furthermore, traditional detergents have raw materials that are not biodegradable anaerobically (in the absence of oxygen) which are deposited in the sludge and have a difficult and long biodegradability or are not even biodegradable.
Our products, on the other hand, have biodegradable raw materials both aerobically (in the presence of oxygen) and anaerobically (in the absence of oxygen), so they degrade much more easily and quickly.
In any case, for a correct calculation of biodegradability, all the substances and biodegradability of each one must be taken into account.
Preservatives are necessary otherwise once opened, a product would become a colony of bacteria and very dangerous for us and for our body.
Certainly there are different types of preservatives and year after year the research identifies increasingly delicate and ever more biodegradable preservatives.
For example, we do not use parabens and other negative preservatives; we started using very delicate new generation preservatives such as potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, dichloro benzyl alcohol.
Surfactants are the main ingredients of detergents and play an important role in the removal of dirt. They are organic compounds consisting of a hydrophilic part (polar phase) that binds to water and a hydrophobic part (non-polar phase) that tends to bind to the fat phase of the dirt and to solubilize it. They also have the ability to reduce the “surface tension” in aqueous solutions, that is, they allow water to penetrate better in the cracks, in the textures of the fabrics, to convey dirt and therefore increase the detergent power.
The surfactants can be of vegetable origin or of petrochemical origin.
ANIONIC surfactants, consisting of carboxylic, sulfuric and alkyl sulfuric, phosphoric, lactic, and citric esters. They are quantitatively the predominant part of the surfactants that are currently on the market. The alkyl chain to which the sulfuric group is bound, or in any case a negatively charged group, can be branched (therefore more difficultly biodegradable) or linear (the more easily biodegradable new generation).
NON IONIC surfactants have the ability to wash at low temperatures and are not very foamy. The ethoxylated fatty acids with a linear chain are more easily degradable. Furthermore, the acid can be of petrochemical or vegetable origin.
CATIONIC surfactants have positive charge are generally quaternary ammonium salts with a humectant and bacteriostatic action. They are used to make fabric softeners and conditioners.
AMPHOTERIC SURFACTANTS, have both the negative and the positive charge, with intermediate characteristics between NON IONIC and ANIONIC. They attenuate the aggressiveness of ANIONIC surfactants, that is why in cosmetics they are often coupled to SLS and SLES. Good foaming agents. For some AMPHOTERICS, generally the most common ones, it has been shown that they are biodegradable even under conditions of anaerobiosis, while some are still under examination by international regulations (such as the Ecolabel).
The declaration “IT does not contain nickel, chrome or cobalt” is not technically possible.
Nickel, chromium and cobalt are widespread in nature and in the environment and it is not possible to exclude their presence in trace even in drinking water (see Chelab document). If I prepare a detergent in a stainless steel mixer (18% nickel, 8% chromium), this may yield traces of metals to the solution.
From the legal point of view there are no legal limits for detergents and cosmetics in Italy.
In cosmetics the “nickel tested” declaration is used when nickel is present BELOW 1 ppm (0,0001%, 1 mg/kg), see: cosmetici.it/index.php/per-saperne-di-piu/metalli-pesanti/domande-e-risposte-14/ http://www.altroconsumo.it/salute/nc/news/allergico-al-nichel-ecco-quali-cosmetici-scegliere
The irritating symbol in the washing machine product or in other products is mandatory because the products are very concentrated and the new regulation governing detergents has imposed the obligation of hazardous labeling in concentrated and superconcentrated products.
This legislation comes from the European community and we might suspect that there is a hand of the multinationals.
For example: the old washing machine detergent, although very concentrated, did not have dangerous labeling, because the formula had been implemented when the old legislation that did not impose it was in force. As new formulas of concentrated products come out, everyone will have to insert the irritating symbol on the label.
As for the corrosive symbol, it is necessary to insert it if the product has a very high or very low PH, the so-called extreme pH.
To understand better, our dishwasher detergent has a very high PH needed to give the product a strong washing power without using phosphates, present in large quantities in traditional products: we have found alternative solutions to ensure a good effectiveness, but we are obliged to put on the label that “disturbing” symbol of corrosivity.
To conclude the labeling of dangerousness, irritant or corrosive, is necessary for many products, according to the new legislation and we will find more and more these symbols on detergents because the legislation becomes increasingly restrictive, so a product that had no dangerous symbols becomes irritating and an irritating product can become corrosive. This does not mean that the product is dangerous but that it follows perfectly the legislation.
At this point we ask: but why the washing machine detergent before had not the irritating symbol and now that the formula has been improved (it is more delicate, has less irritating preservatives and is more biodegradable) we must put the irritant symbol on the label? Perhaps a nice gift from the European community to certain multinationals! In addition, with the new CLP legislation, which came into force on 01 June 2015, all detergents, including ecological detergents, will have warnings on the label.
The term INCI refers to the complete list of ingredients that make up a cosmetic product.
What is obvious to many today, that is knowing which ingredients make up the things we buy, is actually an achievement of recent transparency, given that only since 1997 it is mandatory to publish INCI in the European Union.
But, unless you intend to take a short degree in applied chemistry, some names will always remain difficult and obscure.
And, even with all the good will, you will soon discover that you can not learn everything by heart, but you will need tools that can decipher if a component is as terrible as it seems from the name, or it is totally non-toxic.
For example: what is Sodium Benzoate? From the name it looks like an ugly and dirty thing that knows so much about oil. Instead, after a little research it turns out that it is a preservative that is used quietly in biocosmetics.
The real enemies
Once you find out how to deal with the understanding of INCI, it will seem unacceptable to put oil and silicone on your skin. Well yes: when you read Paraffinum Liquidum, Paraffin, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum or Vaseline you can be sure that the product contains ingredients derived from petroleum.
As if you read Dimethicone or Cyclopentasiloxane you are facing silicones, quite easy to recognize because their names always end with the -one or -xane suffixes.
The former, the petroleum derivatives, leave the skin apparently soft, but being incompatible with it, in the long run they suffocate it, not allowing it to breathe. The latter create a film on skin and hair that will make them appear shiny and nourished, when in reality immediately under the surface our hair and our skin are drying and undernourishing.
The enemies are not just them! Synthetic polymers, surfactants, preservatives, synthetic perfumes, dyes are all potentially allergenic and avoidable elements.
But the long list of ingredients, do we have to read it all? In reality, the ingredients to dwell on mostly are the first ones.
In indicating the INCi of a product, in fact, in first place you must position the ingredient contained in a higher percentage and to follow the others, up to that contained in a lower percentage. Below 1% the ingredients can be indicated in random order.
The two certifications are very similar: the first controls the biodegradability of the raw materials that make up the product, while the second also controls the origin of the raw materials and requires a percentage of raw materials of biological origin in the product.
ECOLABEL: this certification is recognized by the European Union that certifies the high biodegradability of the product. Ecolabel checks that the raw materials used are as biodegradable as possible, paying full attention to this aspect and less attention to the origin of the raw materials. In an ecolabel product, for example, it is absolutely not necessary to include organic raw materials. So ecolabel is very strict regarding the biodegradability but less for the origin of raw materials.
AIAB: Aiab instead pays much attention to the origin of raw materials, in fact in addition to having more restrictions than the Ecolabel on the choice of ingredients, it requires the presence of raw materials from organic farming in the product to be certified.
Both certifications require product performance tests. Performance tests are performed by comparing the product to be certified with a market leader in order to obtain equal or higher washing power.
For all our cosmetics we performed the patch test, which evaluates the irritability of the product on the skin.
In our products we use non-irritating and very delicate raw materials.
An organic product is attentive to the environment but also, and above all, to us and our skin.
We are a growing company, with a particular focus on the future of our planet. Our mission is to change the common opinion on ecological and natural products: we have achieved such satisfying results that it would be a shame to keep them only for us.
It is important for us to do to others what we would like to do to us – both personally and professionally. That’s why each of our products is, first of all, what we would like for ourselves, for our loved ones and for our world. Find out how we do it.
We are Italians and we produce in Italy, we are a group of concrete dreamers and we invite you to share our idea of a better life: you will be welcome to our showroom, on our blog, welcome guests on our Facebook page …to be together at all times.