Before its April meeting, California's Department of Toxic Substances Control decided to focus in on three priority product categories with a goal of making hundreds of commonplace consumer items safer - from shampoos and cosmetics, to cleaning supplies and food packaging.
There, panelists encouraged DTSC to cast a wider net in identifying potential Priority Products, rather than relying exclusively on nominations.
Following that gathering, it is calling for a review to address whether concerns around certain ingredients are just and if there are safer alternatives.
A call for product category screening
Members of the panel stated they would like to see the list of six methodologies applied and even expanded to include assessing the use of potentially harmful chemicals present in cosmetics and personal care.
The six methodologies include:
- Hazard trait and endpoint screening, which could address groups of chemicals and examine pressing public health, or ecological concerns, or key policy issues identified by DTSC;
- Route of exposure, which would focus on products that might give rise to high exposure to chemicals of concern, such as hygiene and cosmetic products applied on the body, or inhaled;
- Chemical prioritisation, which would consider exposure-response relationships, substance volumes in commerce, and prevalence in product sectors;
- Evidence of exposure method that would focus on substances selected from the 23 lists of candidate chemicals compiled by DTSC;
- A sensitive sub-population method, which would consider product categories relevant to vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women
- The nomination process, which would see substances nominated to the priority list for review
In fact, additional methodologies were suggested by 15 of the panel’s members during last week’s meeting, with NGOs and academics leaning towards broader methods, while industry members advocated more focused prioritization.
By October of this year, the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC’s) Safer Consumer Products (SCP) Program will publish a work plan to identify product categories from which Priority Products may be selected in the coming three years.