By Carolyn Whetzel
Sept. 27 --California's Department of Toxic Substances Control has released
a list of 164 chemicals it
will use to identify potentially harmful products that manufacturers may be
required to reformulate under the state's Safer Consumer Products
DTSC posted the list on its website Sept. 26 as an
informational tool, just days before the Oct. 1 effective date of the landmark
rules designed to reduce manufacturers' use of chemicals that pose a potential
threat to public health or the environment.
Required under legislation
enacted in 2008, the Safer Consumer Products rules mark the state's first step
in implementing the state's Green Chemistry Initiative.
starts out small, but it sends a big message,” DTSC Director Debbie Raphael
said in a written statement. “Innovative and forward-thinking companies will
realize the opportunities for growth that stem from this cutting-edge
regulation. Smart businesses are already planning ahead, looking for
alternative chemicals they can promote as less-toxic, family friendly and
DTSC will use the initial list of 164 chemicals
to identify, by April 2014, the first five priority products or categories of
products containing high-risk chemicals that manufacturers will be required to
evaluate and, if needed, reformulate with safer alternative substances.
The 164 substances on DTSC's initial list were culled from existing lists of
1,060 chemicals already identified by the state and other authoritative
organizations as exhibiting a hazard trait or environmental endpoint or
exposure risk. DTSC also posted the broader list of chemicals on its website
for informational purposes.
Under the regulations, once a product is
identified as a “priority product,” manufacturers, importers, assemblers and
retailers must notify DTSC and analyze the product to determine how to make
the product safer.
Manufacturers or other responsible entities would then have to submit
detailed reports of their findings and propose their next steps. DTSC would
then propose a regulatory response, which could entail restricting the use of
the chemicals at issue, prohibiting sales or requiring engineering or
administrative controls for companies using the chemicals.
hazard- and exposure-based regulations have the potential to motivate
forward-leaning companies to make already safe products even safer, and
simultaneously to focus on consumer products that truly pose significant or
widespread adverse impacts for Californians,” John Ulrich, executive director
of the Chemical Industry Council of California, said in a written statement.
“CICC is proud of its contributions to this effort. … We now stand ready to
assist the implementation phase and help to further integrate green chemistry
into the world of chemical regulation.”
Gretchen Lee Salter of the
Breast Cancer Fund said in a written statement that the rules are “a big step
for California.” The Breast Cancer Fund will work with state officials and
the Legislature to make sure the program lives up to its potential, she
“For too long, toxic chemicals have been used in everyday
products with no accountability,” Salter said.
The chemical lists and other information about the Safer Consumer
Products program are available at http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/SCP/index.cfm.