Safer Consumer Products Regulation Adopted

Posted: 09/17/2013  browse the blog archive

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has adopted the Safer Consumer Products regulation.  Effective October 1, 2013, manufacturers will be required to seek safer chemical alternatives to potentially hazardous ingredients historically used in common consumer products.

In the coming months, the DTSC will prepare and publish a list of Candidate Chemicals for regulation.  A chemical is identified as a Candidate Chemical if it is listed as toxic or hazardous by certain specified agencies, such as:

  • Chemicals listed as known to cause cancer and/or reproductive harm under Proposition 65
  • Chemicals classified by the European Commission as carcinogens, mutagens, and/or reproductive toxicants
  • Chemicals identified as “carcinogenic to humans” or “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Integrated Risk Information System
  • Chemicals identified as Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Inherently Toxic by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act

The DTSC may also identify chemicals as toxic or hazardous, and therefore eligible for “Candidate Chemical” status, by considering the following factors:

  • Adverse impacts
  • The chemical’s physicochemical properties
  • The chemical’s environmental fate
  • The human and/or animal populations that may be affected by the chemical’s adverse impacts
  • The potential for the chemical to degrade, react, or metabolize into a hazardous or toxic chemical

The DTSC will also make guidance materials available on its website to assist persons in performing Alternatives Analyses.  The guidance materials will suggest how to remove toxic or hazardous chemicals from products, whether by reformulating products to eliminate the presence of unsafe chemicals, or by replacing the unsafe chemical with a safer, alternative chemical.  By April 1, 2014, DTSC is expected to issue a list of proposed Priority Products containing one or more hazardous chemicals.

The Chanler Group represents citizen enforcers who, acting in the public interest, commence actions against businesses offering products for sale in California that contain chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm without first providing the health hazard warning required by Proposition 65. Citizen enforcers bringing Proposition 65 actions in the public interest may obtain a Court Judgment imposing civil penalties, an injunction requiring reformulation of products, and/or provision of health hazard warnings. The Chanler Group has represented citizen enforcers of Proposition 65 for more than twenty years.