On October 15, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the "Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017." The California Right to Know Act requires cleaning product manufacturers to disclose the chemicals in their products, both on product labels and websites. Passage of the California Right to Know Act follows the State of New York’s passage of a similar Cleaning Products Right to Know Act.

Under the new California law, product manufacturers, defined generally as the entity whose name appears on the product label, will need to disclose the following information on their product labels:

  • Intentionally added ingredients contained in the product that are also included on a designated list, such as Proposition 65; Annex III of the EU Cosmetics Directive, etc.;
  • Intentionally added ingredients contained in the product unless deemed confidential business information; and
  • A manufacturer’s toll-free telephone number, website address, and a statement directing consumers to the manufacturer’s website to obtain more information on product ingredients.

Additionally, manufacturers’ websites must disclose the following information:

  • Intentionally added ingredients contained in the product, except for ingredients deemed as confidential business information;
  • Fragrance allergens included on a designated list;
  • Nonfunctional ingredients present in the product at a concentration at or above 0.01% (100 ppm);
  • The Chemical Abstract Service number for each intentionally added or nonfunctional ingredients in the product;
  • Electronic links to designated lists; and
  • A link to the safety data sheet (e.g., MSDS sheet) for the product.

Importantly, while there was initial opposition to the law from cleaning product manufacturers and local Chambers of Commerce concerning the disclosure of proprietary ingredient information, the law now includes protection for ingredients deemed to constitute "confidential business information" (CBI).

CBI is generally deemed to include combinations of ingredients for which a claim has been approved by EPA for inclusion on the Toxic Substances Control Act’s Confidential Inventory, or ingredients for which the manufacturer or supplier may claim protection under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA). Manufacturers of intentionally added ingredients that are deemed CBI need only provide a generic chemical name to protect their identity. Manufacturers claiming CBI under the UTSA must possess a bonafide justification for such designation and, upon request, must share such justification to the California Attorney General.