Our Mission | Our Science | Our Workplace
MADE SAFE® is a program of Nontoxic Certified, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We provide America’s first comprehensive human health and ecosystem-focused certification for nontoxic products across store aisles, from baby to personal care to household and beyond. The MADE SAFE® (Made With Safe Ingredients™) seal literally means that a product is made with safe ingredients, without toxic chemicals known to harm our health.
Our nonprofit organization’s goal is to change the way products are made in this country to ultimately eliminate the use of toxic chemicals altogether:
- We make it easy for people to find and buy products made without known toxic chemicals;
- We give companies a road map for making safe products; through Nontoxic Certified’s Transformation Partners Program we are able to provide a service for companies that want to work behind-the-scenes on learning about their formulations in an Ecosystem Approach, and
- We make it easy for retailers to select products that aren’t known to cause harm.
At MADE SAFE, we take inspiration from the Native American approach that it is our responsibility to consider many generations into the future. We believe the Arapaho saying that: ‘All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them.’ When the Science and Research team performs our Ecosystem Screening approach, we are listening.
The Science Behind Our Seal: No Compromise
The MADE SAFE Screening Approach is a scientifically rigorous, independent third-party review that determines that all materials in a given product are made without substances that are known or suspected to be harmful. When there is doubt we exercise the precautionary principle, erring on the side of caution. Our approach flips the current regulatory model of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ on its head. The MADE SAFE Screening Approach also ensures that products are made using sustainably and responsibly sourced ingredients and/or materials.
- The first step in the Certification process is to undergo screening against the MADE SAFE Banned ListSM, containing over 6,500 prohibited and/or restricted substances. All substances are compiled from authoritative lists from around the world. This Banned List is backed by science from authoritative agencies, scientific organizations and/or subject-area experts and represents the worst hazards found in products we use in our homes and daily routines. All 6,500 items on the Banned List are either prohibited or restricted from use in MADE SAFE Certified products.
- After clearing the Banned List stipulations, we evaluate each substance using our proprietary Ecosystem Screening Approach. This involves each substance being evaluated for environmental and human health by considering persistence in water, air, soil and sediment; toxicity to aquatic life; toxicity to terrestrial life; bioaccumulation; and negative impacts on human health. Finally, substances are reviewed for contamination potential by assessing the risk of problematic impurities from manufacturing processes and/or the supply chain.
- After a substance undergoes and passes our comprehensive Ecosystem Screening Approach review, there are additional criteria substances must meet, called Substance-Specific Requirements. These criteria reflect the unique characteristics of any given substance, including derivation, manufacturing processes, impurities, use case restrictions, and more. This process is conducted through a required paper screening.
- Occasionally, additional lab testing is required.
If all substances within the product meet the required Certification standards, then the product is granted the MADE SAFE seal.
Note that all Certified products must be used according to manufacturer guidelines.
MADE SAFE® Certified products have passed our screenings for known:
Behavioral toxins • Carcinogens • Developmental toxins • Endocrine disruptors • Toxic fire retardants • Heavy metals • Neurotoxins • High-risk pesticides • Reproductive toxins • Toxic solvents • Harmful VOCs • Endangered species
We are grateful every time someone spends money on products that are made with safe ingredients that support a sustainable future for all.
We understand that there are many roads to choose, and we appreciate those who choose the MADE SAFE path.
The MADE SAFE / Nontoxic Certified Workplace
At MADE SAFE we are a small team of workers, volunteers, and interns. Each of us has pledged to stand in solidarity to foster a better, kinder, more sustainable and just world.
As an organization we are committed to creating a respectful, diverse, and dignified work environment. Our work on sustainability is reflected through the thoughtful and rigorous science we practice as well as in the work practices we cultivate at our respective remote locations. We embrace sustainability and work to reduce the impact we have on the environment whenever possible.
In order to be better, we must do better. One way that we at MADE SAFE are working for change is by helping to support and amplify the voices of those in the Black community as well as other under-represented communities creating and fighting for safer, cleaner products serving those communities.
That’s why MADE SAFE has established an Initiative to make it easier for these businesses to work with us. Our Grant Program is intended for business founders and/or owners who are people of color and/or members of traditionally under-represented groups. Please reach out if your business meets this description and you are interested in participating in our program, or if you would like to recommend a company for our program.
We are also working to bring more Black advisors onto our board, to ensure that we have better representation of people of color, and over time we will work for representation on our staff as well. We hope this increases our ability to listen, serve, and to reach communities of color more than we have in the past.
Our work hours are self-directed and at will, for all staff, volunteers and interns.