California’s list of 1,200 suspect chemicals expected soon

06 September 2013 19:01  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--California is expected to announce later this month the list of 1,200 chemicals that will be candidates for elimination in consumer products, a state industry leader said on Friday, although final determinations will not be made until next year.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is expected to hold a press conference on 26 September to announce the candidate chemicals list, said John Ulrich, executive director of the Chemical Industry Council of California (CICC).

Publication of the list of 1,200 candidate chemicals - and a more focused list of some 238 priority substances from among them - is expected before the 1 October effective date for the state’s long-coming Safer Consumer Products Regulations (SCPR).

DTSC was given final approval late last month by the state’s office of administrative law to proceed with implementing the regulations.

DTSC director Deborah Raphael said that after publishing the list of 1,200 candidate chemicals, her office will prepare guidance on how manufacturers can conduct the required “alternative analyses” to determine if other, less toxic substances or materials are available.

The list of 238 priority chemicals is those among the 1,200 that have exhibited hazardous traits and have appeared as trace elements in exposure tests such as biomonitoring, Ulrich said.

But the real impact of the Safer Consumer Products Regulations will not be apparent, Ulrich said, until DTSC issues a list of proposed “priority products”, which is due by 1 April next year.

“The real issues will come when those priority products are identified,” he said. 

“When they are announced, that will give us an idea of how DTSC is going to interpret the regulations and with what breadth,” Ulrich said.

The result of legislation first passed by California in 2008, the Safer Consumer Products Regulations may apply to anything that is “bought, sold or leased in the state of California”.

That broad definition, said Ulrich, means that the regulations “will apply to anything you can think of, from airplanes to toys”.

Other chemical industry officials have warned that the SCPR will have sweeping and profound impact on California manufacturers and consumers, and for producers outside of California whose products go into the state in one form or another.

Bill Allmond, vice president for government and public relations at the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA), said that when SCPR is fully implemented next year it may force some producers to stop doing business in the state, raise the cost of consumer goods and even eliminate many products from store shelves in California.

Allmond said that the SCPR rules “will be absolutely impossible to implement and consequently will have a major impact of the availability of a wide range of consumer products in the state”.

The now imminent rules also are expected to trigger a flood of litigation as product manufacturers and retailers move into the courts in efforts to revoke or amend decisions by the DTSC about specific substances and products.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy


By: Joe Kamalick
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