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California May Seek Safer Alternatives for Chemicals in Textiles, Clothing, Cosmetics, Etc.

Thursday, October 09, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control is accepting comments through Oct. 17 on a draft three-year work plan identifying seven categories of products that contain chemicals for which safer alternatives may be available. This is the first step in a process that could lead to restrictions or prohibitions on the use of certain chemicals in products that fall into these categories.

- beauty, personal care and hygiene products (skin products, personal hygiene products, hair products, cosmetics, fragrances)

- building products (flooring, paint, sealants, fillers, adhesives)

- household, office furniture and furnishings (bedding, fabric/textile furnishings, household/office seating)

- cleaning products (fresheners/deodorizers, cleaners, laundry, surface care)

- office machinery consumable products (inks and toners, specialty paper)

- clothing (full body wear, lower body wear (bottoms), sleepwear, sportswear, underwear, upper body wear (tops)

- fishing and angling equipment

DTSC states that this work plan is intended to advise potential importers, retailers, manufacturers and others of the types of products that may be reviewed over the next three years. The work plan will be finalized after DTSC considers public comments received. At that point the department will use research and stakeholder input to identify specific product-chemical combinations that warrant consideration as potential priority products. DTSC notes that while the broad nature of some of the selected categories incorporates hundreds of potential priority products, only a relatively small number (likely between five and ten per year) of priority products are likely to be selected.

California’s Safer Consumer Products regulations provide for several steps subsequent to the nomination of a priority product.

Regulations. Any priority products identified from these categories will be adopted into regulation following the Administrative Procedure Act process, including public comment periods.

Alternative Analysis. Manufacturers will follow the alternative analysis process to identify safer product designs or alternative formulations that meet product requirements.

Regulatory Response. If warranted, DTSC will issue an appropriate regulatory response, which could include the following.

- imposing requirements to provide additional information needed to assess a chemical of concern and its potential alternatives

- imposing requirements on the labeling or other type of consumer product information

- imposing a restriction on the use of the chemical of concern in the consumer product

- prohibiting the use of the chemical of concern in the consumer product

- imposing requirements that control access to or limit exposure to the chemical of concern in the consumer product

- imposing requirements for the manufacturer to manage the product at the end of its useful life, including recycling or responsible disposal

- imposing a requirement to fund green chemistry challenge grants where no feasible safer alternative exists

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