California Outlines Plans to Prioritize, Regulate Toxic Chemicals

SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has completed an outline for how the state's Green Chemistry Initiative will declare chemicals to be chemicals of concern, how it will deal with products that contain those chemicals and when it will restrict or ban chemicals.

The DTSC's draft outline for regulations of safer consumer product alternatives was released a few days ago, and the department is seeking feedback on it.

The outline covers how chemicals will be named chemicals under consideration or chemicals of concern, and explains what factors will affect how the chemicals are prioritized. A method for public and private individuals or entities to petition the department to evaluate a chemical is also explained.

The outline lists how the DTSC will approach products that contain chemicals of concern and how those products will be prioritized.

Companies that manufacture anything that ends up on the priority products list will be required to perform an assessment of alternatives, and the outline goes on to explain companies' options for assessments and what they must include.

The different regulatory responses - such as requiring disclosure of information, banning chemicals or requiring end-of-life management - that the DTSC could take are also listed, with explanations of when each response would likely be taken. Restricting the use of a chemical of concern in a product, for instance, could be enforced when it would reduce the threat to a sensitive subpopulation or reduce the threat from a particular formulation.

The DTSC will next create draft regulations that are based on the outline and which will begin the formal rule-making process.

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