On September 12, 2014, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) issued a draft Priority Product Work Plan (Work Plan) pursuant to the California Safer Consumer Product (SCP) regulations. The Work Plan identifies product categories from which Priority Products will be selected for regulation over the next three years.

The SCP regulations, California’s groundbreaking green chemistry regulations, took effect October 2013. In March 2014, DTSC proposed the first three Priority Products (product-chemical combinations) for which safer alternatives must be evaluated. The newly proposed draft Work Plan addresses categories from which additional products will be selected over the next three years.

The SCP regulations require that DTSC prepare a plan describing the product categories that it will evaluate to identify product-chemical combinations to be added to the Priority Products list every three years. The Work Plan identifies seven product categories:

    1.  Beauty, Personal Care and Hygiene Products
    2.  Building Products: Paints, Adhesives, Sealants, and Flooring
    3.  Household, Office Furniture and Furnishings
    4.  Cleaning Products
    5.  Clothing
    6.  Fishing and Angling Equipment
    7.  Office Machinery (Consumable Products)

The product categories were selected considering factors and criteria for Priority Product selection required by the SCP regulations, including potential exposures, significant adverse impacts or end-of-life effects, as well as the availability of information, other regulatory programs, and safer alternatives. For each product category, the Work Plan provides product examples and identifies potential candidate chemicals.

DTSC will identify future potential Priority Products by choosing specific products from the categories identified in the Work Plan in conjunction with chemicals found on the Candidate Chemicals list. DTSC anticipates selecting from five to ten products per year. As part of its process to select Priority Products from the designated categories, DTSC will hold workshops, call for data, and conduct research. Selected Priority Products will then be adopted into regulation under the Administrative Procedures Act, including an opportunity for public comment.

Once selected as a Priority Product, manufacturers, importers and retailers of the Priority Products will have obligations under the SCP regulations. These will include notifying DTSC of the manufacture or sale of the products and participating in the Alternatives Analysis process to consider safer alternatives to the designated chemicals of concern in the products. DTSC may impose requirements on Priority Products, including restrictions on a product’s use and prohibiting a chemical of concern in a product.

On September 25 and 29, 2014, DTSC will host workshops for the public to discuss the scope and content of the Work Plan prior to finalizing it. Businesses with products among the seven categories should follow and participate in the Priority Product selection process to be best prepared to comply with the SCP regulations.