California Disclosure of Chemicals in Cleaning Products - Weekly Compliance Digest

September 22, 2017

In this edition of the Weekly Compliance Digest, we cover a California bill that would require the disclose of chemicals in cleaning products sold in the state.

SB-258 Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017

What is it?

On September 13, 2017, the California Senate passed SB-258. The bill was also passed by the California Assembly a day before, and requires the disclosure of chemical ingredients in household and commercial cleaning products, both online and on labels.

in April 2017, and was the first state to do so. With California following suit, this is part of a pattern where, with de-regulation at the U.S. Federal level, individual states with governorships and legislatures controlled by Democrats are increasing regulations in a range of areas, including climate change, environmental protection, workplace safety and consumer protection.

What are the requirements?

Cleaning products would have to include labels that list chemicals of concern that appear of any one of approximately 20 regulatory lists of chemicals. Here are some of the most noteworthy ones:

  • California Proposition 65.
  • Chemicals classified by the EU in Annex VI to CLP as either:
    • Category 1A or 1B CMRs.
    • Respiratory sensitizer category 1
  • Chemicals included on the EU Candidate List of SVHCs on the basis of either:
    • Endocrine disrupting properties.
    • PBT or vPvB properties.
  • Chemicals for which a reference dose or reference concentration has been developed based on neurotoxicity in the EPA’s IRIS program.
  • Chemicals identified as carcinogenic to humans, likely to be carcinogenic to humans, or as Group A, B1, or B2 carcinogens in the EPA’s IRIS.
  • Chemicals identified as PBT to the environment by the Canadian DSL list.
  • Group 1, 2A, or 2B carcinogens identified by IARC.
  • Chemicals identified by the EPA’s TRI as PBT chemicals subject to reporting under EPCRA section 313.

The full list of lists in found in section 108952 subdivision (g) of the text of the bill. Only “intentionally added” ingredients are covered by the requirements of the bill.

Ingredients would also have to be disclosed online. Labels would include the website address where the full list of chemical ingredients is found.

In addition, manufacturers can choose not to list ingredients considered as Confidential Business Information (CBI). To qualify, a substance must be included on the TSCA Confidential Inventory or the manufacturer must have claimed protection for it under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, ChemicalWatch says.

Note that the labels would not have to include pictograms, and ingredient concentrations would not be required to be disclosed.

What is next?

Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign the legislation into law, according to ChemicalWatch. The online disclosure requirements will take effect on January 1, 2020, while the labeling requirements will take effect on January 1, 2021.

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