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Lighthouse for the Blind-St. Louis Hand Soap Certified for Federal BioPreferred Program

  • Published: 2011-05-06 - Contact: Lighthouse for the Blind-St. Louis
  • Synopsis: The hand soap is the very first product approved for the federal AbilityOne program which helps provide employment for people who are blind or severely disabled.

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Liquid hand soap made from 98 percent renewable materials helps reduce dependence on foreign oil.

St. Louis, Missouri, USA...A liquid hand soap manufactured by Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis and sold under the SKILCRAFT® brand, and which has 98 percent bio-based content, is among the first products certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to display the USDA's Bio-Preferred label.

The hand soap, made, warehoused and distributed by the Lighthouse's Berkeley plant in St. Louis County, is also the very first product approved for the federal AbilityOne program, which helps provide employment for people who are blind or severely disabled by producing products and providing services to federal government customers.

U.S. Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan recently unveiled the first 60 USDA-certified products that will bear the new Bio-Preferred product label. In the announcement, Ms. Merrigan said, ""Consumer cleaning products, containers, and the 'intermediate materials' used to manufacture them - made from agriculturally-sourced ingredients - help add value to commodities, create jobs in rural communities, and can reduce our dependence on imported oil."

"The companies (who make these products) are proving that innovation and agriculture can grow together to build a foundation for future growth in rural America as we work to win the future," Deputy Secretary Merrigan said.

The new BioPreferred label designates products that are comprised wholly or significantly of agricultural ingredients such as renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials. The new label indicates that the product has been independently certified to meet USDA BioPreferred program standards for bio-based content.

John Thompson, President of Lighthouse-Saint Louis, said, ""The St. Louis Lighthouse is committed to assisting in the U.S. Government's 'green' initiatives and reducing the impact of petroleum-based products on our environment with the introduction of these new bio-based products. Every employee of the Lighthouse and our customers can be proud that the Lighthouse for the Blind has achieved the BioPreferred designation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

Brian Houser, Sales & Marketing Director at the Lighthouse, added, "We are very proud that our liquid hand soap is one of the first products certified by the USDA's BioPreferred Program. We will continue reformulating existing products, and develop new products, to qualify for certification and use of the USDA-certified BioBased Product logo, and display the logo prominently on our product packaging as a responsible producer of environmentally friendly 'green' products."

USDA's BioPreferred program was created by the 2002 Farm Bill to increase the purchase and use of biobased products within the Federal government. Congress reauthorized the program in the 2008 Farm Bill to further promote the sale of biobased products. With the launch of the new biobased product label, USDA's BioPreferred program is now comprised of a biobased product procurement preference program for Federal agencies, and a voluntary labeling initiative for broad-scale marketing of biobased products, as noted on the website

Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis is a privately chartered, 501(c)3 non-profit corporation established in 1933. The Lighthouse manufactures, assembles, warehouses and sells high-quality products to government and commercial customers including first aid kits, medical kits, catheters, aerosol and liquid paints, aerosol and liquid cleaning products and many others.. The Lighthouse also maintains a Class 8 clean room and offers Ethylene Oxide (EtO) sterilization.

The Lighthouse is committed to providing a supportive environment where employees can count on developing new and productive skills that will assist them in reaching amazing levels of independence. To learn more, please visit the website


  1. AbilityOne Employment for People with Disabilities


     What will I receive?

Loan iconLoan programs for low income singles, families, seniors & disabled. Includes grants, home ownership, vehicle modifications, personal loans and scholarships.

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