The California Safer Consumer Products Act went into effect on October 1, 2013. The Act directs the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to identify and prioritize chemical ingredients in consumer products that may pose health and environmental risks, and to determine how best to limit or reduce the use of those chemicals. The SCP regulations broadly affect the supply chains of manufacturers, importers, assemblers, and retailers of a variety of consumer products, requiring them to seek safer alternatives to certain chemicals in certain products.
As part of its duties under the Act, DTSC must issue a Priority Product Work Plan identifying the product categories it will evaluate for addition to the Priority Products list during the next three years. A Priority Product is a consumer product that contains one or more chemicals, known as Candidate Chemicals, which have a “hazard trait” that can harm people or the environment. Once a product-chemical combination is listed as a “Priority Product,” a manufacturer, retailer, assembler, or importer of the Priority Product has sixty (60) days to provide DTSC with a Priority Product Notification. The Notification must identify the entity’s role as a manufacturer, retailer, assembler, or importer, as well as a description of type, brand name(s), and product names(s) of the Priority Product. A preliminary Alternative Analysis must then be conducted within one-hundred-and-eighty (180) days to determine whether the product can be made with safer substitute chemicals, not only with regard to the risk during product use, but also during their manufacture and after disposal (generally explained as the “life-cycle” approach).
DTSC issued its first draft Priority Product Work Plan (Work Plan) on September 12, 2014. 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;
(6) Fishing and Angling Equipment; and
(7) Office Machinery (Consumable Products).
For each product category, the Work Plan provides product examples and identifies potential Candidate Chemicals.
DTSC will host workshops regarding the scope and content of the Work Plan on September 25 and 29, 2014. Manufacturers, retailers, assemblers, and importers of consumer products in these seven product categories should ensure they have an inventory of all the chemical ingredients in such products to meaningfully participate during the workshops. The workshops may provide them with important information relating to opportunities to replace a chemical within a specific product, or shared concerns to petition DTSC to exclude a particular product from the Priority Product list. The deadline to submit comments on the draft Work Plan is October 13, 2014. For more information, click here.