California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is seeking public comment on its Green Chemistry Proposed Regulation for Safer Consumer Products.
The new regulation would apply to all current and future consumer products in the stream of commerce in California and all chemicals with hazard traits that are expected to be in consumer products, with a few exemptions.
If finalized as proposed, the regulation will require DTSC to first identify and prioritize all available chemicals and consumer products based on their risk or toxicity and then to list certain potentially harmful chemicals. Manufacturers would be required to submit alternative assessment notifications showing that they have reformulated, removed or reduced the chemical’s concentration within the product. Once the DTSC notifies a manufacturer of a required regulatory response, the manufacturer must issue notification to its California retailers. DTSC would publicly post information on its Website when non-compliance with its new regulations is not remedied; enforcement actions, such as fines and penalties, would also be available. In more extreme failure-to-comply situations, the regulations would allow the agency to ban a product for sale in California.
Two major concerns with regard to the promulgated regulations are the release of trade secrets and the lack of a petition process to have a product or chemical removed from the priority lists. There would be, however, a petition process for public or government entities to add chemicals or products to the list. The DTSC believes this Green Chemistry Initiative will lead to safer consumer products, fewer exposures to dangerous chemicals, and an overall healthier environment.