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March 2016

District of Columbia Joins Other States in Banning Flame Retardants

On March 17, 2016, the Mayor of the District of Columbia signed B21-0143  into law, banning the flame retardants tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP) and tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP).  In doing so, the District of Columbia now has joined a number of other states, including Maryland, Minnesota and New York, in banning flame retardants from consumer (and especially children’s) products. The new law will ban children’s products and residential upholstered furniture from containing more than 0.1% of these chemicals by mass. This ban goes into effect January 1, 2018.  The ban becomes extended to all products on January 1, 2019. However, the law exempts a number of products, including: Motor vehicles and their replacement parts and equipment; Many electronic devices and their accessories (e.g., desktop and laptop computers; calculators, wireless telephones, cables and adapters); and Electronic storage media.

OEHHA Considers PFOS and PFOA for Possible Listing under Proposition 65

On February 19, 2016, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment announced that it is initiating the development of hazard identification materials on perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and its salts and on perfluorooctane sulfonate  (PFOS) and its salts. Members of the public are invited to submit information as part of this data call in. This data call in period ends on April 4, 2016. OEHHA’s announcement follows the November 2015 meeting of the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DARTIC), at which the DARTIC members identified these same chemicals as high priority for listing.  Hazard identification materials for these chemicals will be presented at future meetings of the DARTIC for consideration of listing of the chemicals.

OEHHA Proposes Proposition 65 Safe Harbor Warning and MADL for BPA Just In Time for Effective Date of BPA Warning Requirement

In advance of the May 11, 2016 effective date of the Proposition 65 warning requirement for bisphenol A (BPA), the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment on March 17, 2016 proposed a safe harbor warning for BPA in canned and bottled foods and beverages through an emergency rulemaking procedure. OEHHA also separately has proposed a Maximum Acceptable Dose Level (MADL) for dermal absorption of BPA from solid materials of 3 micrograms per day. These regulatory actions are expected to provide guidance to the regulatory community and deter unnecessary and frivolous Proposition 65 enforcement actions involving BPA. On May 7, 2015, the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee identified BPA as a Proposition 65 reproductive toxicant based on its purported effects on the female reproductive system. BPA was placed on the Proposition 65 list on May 11, 2016, and the warning requirement becomes effective one year later, i.e., May 11, 2016. BPA is widely …Read More

ASTM Publishes Green Chemistry Standard

ASTM International has published a Standard Guide for Making Sustainability-Related Chemical Selection Decisions in the Life-Cycle of Products, E3027-15. The guide “outlines sustainability factors for product manufacturers to consider when comparing alternative chemicals or ingredients across the life-cycle of a product,” and is geared towards assisting manufacturers in complying with green chemistry laws like California’s Safer Consumer Products Regulations. According to ASTM’s press release: Michael Schmeida, chairman of ASTM’s Committee on Sustainability (E60), notes that the new standard provides guidance on how to perform an analysis of alternative chemicals that is now a regulatory requirement in U.S. states like California. An example is the analysis of flame retardants in children’s bedding, an important consumer safety concern. Other products that are being considered for such analysis in California include fishing gear and adhesives. However, the standard does not provide guidance on how to conduct chemical risk assessments, alternatives assessments and other evaluations …Read More

NIOSH Releases External Review Draft of Current Intelligence Bulletin – Health Effects of Occupational Exposures to Silver Nanomaterials

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has released a draft Current Intelligence Bulletin – Health Effects of Occupational Exposure to Silver Nanomaterials for public comment. NIOSH will hold a public meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio on March 23, 2016, and will receive written public comments on the draft through April 22, 2016 (an extension of the original public comment deadline). NIOSH issues Current Intelligence Bulletins (CIBs) to share new scientific information about occupational hazards with representatives of academia, industry, organized labor, public health agencies, and public interest groups, as well as to federal agencies responsible for ensuring the safety and health of workers. In recent years, NIOSH has been paying particular attention to occupational hazards relating to nanoscale materials.  In 2013, NIOSH released a CIB relating to carbon nanotubes (Current Intelligence Bulletin 65) and addressed nanoscale titanium dioxide in its 2011 Current Intelligence Bulletin 63 – Occupational Exposures to Titanium Dioxide. Silver …Read More