The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) announced, on March 13, 2014, the first set of Priority Product/Candidate Chemical combinations under its Safer Consumer Product (SCP) regulations (also known as the Green Chemistry regulations) , which became effective October 1, 2013:

  • Children’s foam padded sleeping products containing Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP);
  • Spray polyurethane foam systems containing unreacted diisocyanates; and
  • Paint and varnish strippers and surface cleaners containing methylene chloride.

Manufacturers will not have to eliminate the identified chemicals from their products immediately, but the announcement will set in motion a regulatory process under which regulations ultimately will be adopted for each of the Priority Product/Candidate Chemical combinations. Manufacturers have the principal duty to comply with the regulations. Other responsible entities may include importers, assemblers, or retailers of a Priority Product.

DTSC has indicated that it will hold public workshops on the proposed Priority Products/Candidate Chemicals. Once the regulations for each of these Priority Products are adopted and become effective (which could take a year or more), the manufacturers will be required to (1) notify DTSC that it manufactures products that are on the Priority Product/Candidate Chemical list; and (2) begin a so-called Alternative Analysis process to determine how best to limit exposures to, or the level of adverse public health and environmental impacts posed by, the product.

To learn more about the four-step continuous, science-based, iterative process prescribed by the SCP regulations, please see our post, California’s Green Chemistry Initiative Has A Long REACH, or visit DTSC’s SCP page.

As they are fully implemented, the SCP regulations will have a major impact on virtually all companies manufacturing, importing, selling or distributing consumer products in or into California, regardless of where they are manufactured or produced. “Consumer product” is broadly defined to include “a product or part of the product that is used, brought, or leased for use by a person for any purposes.” The stated goal of the regulation is to phase out the use of so-called “chemicals of concern,” to cause products designated as “priority products” to be reformulated, or to ban their sale, manufacture, import or distribution in California.