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DTSC Schedules Public Meeting on PFAS

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is taking the next step in the potential identification of carpets and rugs with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) as Priority Products under its Safer Consumer Products (SCP) program. The agency is holding a public workshop on December 9, 2019, and has opened a public comment period on the proposal. The deadline for public comments is December 31, 2019. PFASs are becoming increasingly scrutinized by regulators across multiple jurisdictions. In California, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), chemicals within the larger class of PFASs, were added to the Proposition 65 list…

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OEHHA Postpones Meeting on Listing Acetaminophen as Proposition 65 Carcinogen

Amid numerous public comments opposing the proposed listing of acetaminophen as a Proposition 65 carcinogen, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has cancelled the December 5, 2019 public meeting at which the Cancer Identification Committee (CIC) was to review scientific studies and vote on the proposed listing. OEHHA has opened a new public comment period on the proposed listing, which closes on January 27, 2020, and intends to reschedule the CIC meeting after that. OEHHA first announced that acetaminophen was being considered for listing on September 20, 2019, at which point the first public comment period opened.…

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Another Retailer Issues Chemical Policy

On October 16, 2019, office products retailer Staples released its updated chemicals policy “to identify the presence of chemicals of concern in products and support innovations that result in an orderly transition to safer alternatives.“ The policy applies to all Staples product brands and to national brands sold by the company. Under the policy, Staples expects its suppliers to “actively work[] to identify and use safer chemicals across their product portfolios while meeting key product performance needs.” To that end, Staples has developed a Priority Chemicals of Concern list. In addition to identifying specific chemicals of concern, the list describes…

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EPA’s Draft Risk Evaluation for Methylene Chloride Sets The Stage for Potential Regulation – And Controversy

On October 29, 2019, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its draft risk evaluation for methylene chloride pursuant to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The draft addresses risks to workers, occupational non-users, consumers and bystanders (from consumer use). The Environmental Defense Fund has criticized EPA’s draft risk evaluation on a number of grounds, including EPA’s assumption that workers will use personal protective equipment consistently and properly. Ultimately, the results of the risk evaluation may be integrated into TSCA restrictions and, possibly, even bans, on the use of methylene chloride. Methylene chloride has been used for years as…

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Attorney General Files Motion To Dismiss Federal Proposition 65 Acrylamide Warning Challenge

In October 2019, the California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) filed a legal challenge to the Proposition 65 cancer warning requirement for acrylamide in food, alleging that imposing such a warning requirement violates the First Amendment. The California Attorney General, the defendant in the lawsuit, has now filed a motion to dismiss the challenge. The motion is set to be heard on December 20, 2019. Acrylamide was listed as a Proposition 65 carcinogen in 1990 and as a reproductive toxicant in 2011. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) developed an extremely conservative no significant risk level for cancer…

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