On September 12, 2014, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control released its draft Priority Products Work Plan under the Safer Consumer Products Regulations. The Work Plan identifies the product categories that DTSC will evaluate for future listing as Priority Products. DTSC has scheduled two public workshops to discuss the Work Plan: September 25 at its Sacramento headquarters, and September 29 at its Cypress, California regional office.
DTSC has identified several product categories and associated potential chemicals of concern:
- Beauty/personal care/hygiene (skin products, personal hygiene products, hair products and cosmetics/fragrances) — aldehydes, alkyl phenols, ethoxylates, azo dyes, coal tars, lead, lead acetate, phthalates, triclosan, toluene
- Building products (paints, adhesives, sealants and flooring) — brominated or chlorinated organic compounds, organophosphates, isocyanates, metals, perfluorinated compounds, phthalates, volatile organic compounds
- Household, office furniture and furnishings (bedding, fabric and textile furnishings, seating/sofas) — chlorinated and brominated organic compounds, organophosphates, perfluorinated compounds
- Cleaning products (air fresheners, floor cleaners, oven cleaners, bathroom cleaners, carpet cleaners, detergents, floor waxes, general-purpose cleaners, scouring cleaners, spot removers, window cleaners) — alkyl phenol and ethoxylates, hydrogen fluoride, phthalates, triclosan, volatile organic compounds
- Clothing (full body wear, lower body wear, sleepwear, sportswear, underwear, upper body wear) — alkyl phenol and ethoxylates, aromatic amines and azo dyes, chlorinated paraffins, halogenated compounds, organophosphates, perfluorinated compounds, formaldehyde, phthalates, triclosan
- Fishing and angling equipment (fishing weights and gear) — metals
- Office machinery (consumable products such as printer inks, specialty paper, toner cartridges) — azo dyes, bisphenols, phthalates, volatile organic compounds
The Safer Consumer Products Regulations require DTSC to issue a Priority Products Work Plan, which expires three years after being issued. One year before a Work Plan’s expiration, DTSC must issue a Work Plan update. DTSC may select future Priority Products only from the categories identified in its Work Plan, unless (1) a legislative mandate or executive order requires DTSC to take action on a specific chemical and/or product or (2) DTSC grants a petition to add a Priority Product to the Priority Product list.
As GLO previously has reported, Priority Products are product/chemical of concern combinations that must undergo alternative assessments. Priority Products also are subject to regulatory responses, which include product labeling, use restrictions, and even outright product bans. DTSC representatives have said on several occasions that the Work Plan is intended to send a message to the marketplace to examine whether the chemicals in their products are necessary, and whether safer alternatives exist — and to send a message that DTSC may well explicitly require responsible entities for Priority Products to answer those questions in resource-intensive detail, in the public forum of the Safer Consumer Products Regulations. Entities that manufacture, import and sell products identified in the draft Work Plan should listen carefully to that message.