On October 2, 2015, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control published a Notice of Proposed Amendment to amend the Candidate Chemicals List under the Safer Consumer Products Regulations. Although largely a proposal to “fix” prior inaccuracies and update the list, the proposed amendment also will result in the addition of three new chemicals to DTSC’s program: (1) 4-(1,1,3,3,-tetramethylbutyl)phenol, ethoxylated; (2) 4-nonylphenol, branched and linear; and (3) 4-nonylphenol, branched and linear, ethoxylated. DTSC will hold a public hearing in Sacramento on November 16, 2015. The deadline for written public comments also is November 16, 2015.
California’s Green Chemistry laws, AB 1879 and SB 509, together establish the statutory authority for the Safer Consumer Products Regulations. Codified in the California Health & Safety Code, they require DTSC to establish a process to identify and prioritize chemicals of concern in consumer products, and to evaluate their potential alternatives. An essential component of this program is the Candidate Chemical List, i.e., the list of chemicals which present specified hazard traits. Rather than creating a list of specific chemicals, DTSC’s Candidate Chemicals List is a “list of lists” of chemicals of concern derived from other state, federal and non-U.S. jurisdictions.
DTSC’s first Candidate Chemicals List, published in 2013, incorrectly identified certain EU chemicals of concern lists. Those errors would be eliminated under the proposed amendment by correctly referring to the EU candidate list of Substances of Very High Concern. As a result of this correction, three new chemicals would be identified as Candidate Chemicals (4-(1,1,3,3,-tetramethylbutyl)phenol, ethoxylated; 4-nonylphenol, branched and linear; and 4-nonylphenol, branched and linear, ethoxylated). These categories of chemicals have been the subject of regulatory scrutiny for some time and are the subject of one of USEPA’s Action Plans under TSCA. DTSC also is proposing to update its reference to the National Toxicology Program Report on Carcinogens.