California 'safer' legislation to promote 'greater transparency'

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

California 'safer' legislation to promote 'greater transparency'

Related tags: Safer consumer products, United states

California’s State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has implemented a new regulation this week in regards to product safety, which it believes will lead the way in seeing the first comprehensive, state-level efforts to find safer alternatives.

The department also reckons that the guidelines will promote greater transparency by compelling chemical manufacturers to provide sufficient information, which will then trigger the choice of viable safer alternatives.

As of yesterday, the legislation requires manufacturers or other responsible entities to “seek safer alternatives to harmful chemical ingredients in widely used products”, ​which the department reckons will give the State the opportunity to lead the way in producing 'safer versions' of cosmetics.

Over 20 percent of all beauty products sold in the United States are sold in the state of California. Many of these were initially wholesaled elsewhere and are later transported to the State for retail sale.

However, despite the Authority underlining that the legislation will be phased in slowly, given the size of the State’s economy, the impact of it is expected to be felt across the US...

Setting in motion a 'pre-emptive strategy'

According to the body, following the first proposal of the legislation back in July 2012 and revised in January and April of this year, the changes were made to the regulations following a 15-day public review and comment period.

They mainly include subsections within the overall conduction of alternatives assessments for priority products, and the imposition of regulatory responses (as required by Health and Safety Code sections 25252 and 25253). 

"As such, these regulations are viewed as a possible national model for chemical reform. Priority Products will create one of the first comprehensive, state-level efforts to find safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals,​" it states.

The department adds that they will, in effect, set in motion a pre-emptive strategy that reduces the use of toxic substances with the aim of creating safer and more sustainable products that do not threaten human health or persist in the environment.

Implementation will trigger knock on effect

Although the DTSC reckons the immediate benefits of the changes will be minimal, the implementation of these processes established as a result will trigger the adoption of future regulations.

The direct benefits of these regulations are the information that DTSC will collect to help implement it in the Safer Consumer Products program, and the guidance DTSC is required to develop.”

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