California Bill Proposes to Amend the Safer Consumer Products Program

On Feb. 20, California Sen. Ben Allen (D-26) introduced legislation to amend the California’s “Green Chemistry Program,” or the Safer Consumer Product Regulations. S.B. 392 follows a recent report on the status of the program, which looked at how effective the regulations that evolved from the 2008 law directing California’s Department of Toxic Substances (DTSC) to establish the program. Some stakeholders and legislators believe that DTSC’s regulatory scheme implementation has been too slow for the first three Priority Products introduced in 2014.

All three Priority Products initially proposed have been adopted: Children’s Foam-Padded Sleeping Products with TDCPP or TCEP; Spray Polyurethane Foam with Unreacted MDI; and Paint or Varnish Paint Strippers Containing Methylene Chloride.

A bill hearing in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee is set for April 3.

The Safer Consumer Products Regulations require chemical manufacturers to look for safer alternatives to the hazardous ingredients in consumer products. S.B. 392 would allow DTSC to recognize available alternatives assessments in lieu of accepting alternatives analysis from manufacturers. DTSC instead would move directly to the regulatory phase of the program, after recognizing an available alternatives assessment.

The bill would require a product manufacturer or chemical manufacturer to provide to DTSC data and information on the ingredients and use of a consumer product, including, but not limited to, specified data and information, including data on ingredient chemical identity, concentration, and functional use.

Notably, the bill would impose a civil penalty of $70,000 per day for noncompliance.

S.B 392 would also require DTSC to additionally include in each 3-Year Work Plan, any additional ingredient information that is needed for the department to evaluate the safety of the consumer products.

The current DTSC regulations identify a chemical as a candidate chemical if the chemical exhibits a hazard trait or an environmental or toxicological endpoint, and the chemical is one of specified types of chemicals or the chemical is included on one of specified lists. However, the bill proposes to require DTSC, no later than January 1, 2021, to revise that regulation to include additional chemical lists, including, among others, the list of endocrine disrupting chemicals identified by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

ACA is reviewing the bill and working with its California Paint Council to monitor developments.

Contact ACA’s Riaz Zaman for more information.

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