Washington, DC — A new standard has defined "natural" when it comes to home cleaners, laundry detergent and dish soap.

The Natural Products Association (NPA) has expanded its attempt to bring consistency in the use of the word "natural" by now certifying and slapping its seal on home care products that meet its definition.

The group started off in May 2008 with certifying personal care products that met its definition of natural, and has now expanded its scope to include home items like surface, laundry and dish cleaners. Over 340 personal care products carry the group's seal, and it expects home care products to start showing the seal in the coming months.

For a company to earn natural certification for any number of its products, 60 percent of its products must meet the NPA's definition of natural, even if they do not intend to seek certification for all of them.

Under the NPA's standard, a product can be certified as natural if 95 percent of its ingredients are all-natural or derived from natural sources (flora, fauna, mineral), while the remainder, up to 5 percent, can come from a list of allowed synthetic ingredients.

Products cannot contain any ingredients that are suspected of causing human health risks, and non-natural ingredients can only be used when commercially viable natural versions are unavailable. Animal-based materials created in situations where animals are harmed and byproducts of animal rendering are also not allowed.

Companies can only use specified processes, and none that significantly or adversely alter natural ingredients. They cannot engage in animal testing unless it is required by law. And they must fully disclose all ingredients.

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