An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Safer Choice

Safer Choice Criteria for Defoamers

Safer Choice reviews all ingredients in products qualified to carry the label, including antifoaming agents or defoamers. For Safer Choice review, the structure and chemistry of a particular defoamer will determine the appropriate criteria by which it will be evaluated. For example, a polyethylene/polypropylene glycol ether-based defoamer will be evaluated against the Surfactants Criteria if it has surfactant properties, while a polyacrylate or silicone-based defoamer would most likely be evaluated against the Polymer Criteria. Defoamers that do not fit into a specific functional class as defined by Safer Choice criteria will be evaluated against the Master Criteria.

A defoamer is a chemical additive used to remove or hinder the formation of foam. Foaming occurs when some detergents are used with mechanical agitation. Defoamers are used in a variety of products where foaming may interfere with product or equipment performance, such as in dishwasher detergents and industrial process liquids.