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DTSC Releases Product – Chemical Profile for Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in Carpets and Rugs

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has released a discussion draft of its Product – Chemical Profile for Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in Carpets and Rugs, pursuant to the Safer Consumer Products (SCP) Program. DTSC is accepting comments on the draft here until March 23, 2018, and will be holding a public workshop on March 7, 2018. PFASs encompass a large family of chemicals containing a carbon and fluorine backbone. These chemicals have unique characteristics, being resistant to heat, water and oil. PFASs have been used in consumer products; in carpets and rugs, these chemicals have been used to confer resistance to dirt and soil. DTSC has released the Profile in advance of formally proposing carpets and rugs containing PFASs as Priority Products under the SCP Program. Priority Products are product-chemical combinations which, when identified via a formal rulemaking process, must undergo alternatives assessments to evaluate whether safer …Read More

Update on Private Proposition 65 Enforcement

by Aisha Keown-Lang A larger than usual number of products, thirty-five in total, were targeted last week in Notices of Violation for Proposition 65 private enforcement, and for a wider variety of chemicals than usual. Other than the usual phthalates and lead/lead compounds, targeted chemicals included acrylamide, cadmium, bisphenol A (BPA), and diethanolamine. The largest class of targeted products this week was dietary supplements, with a total of eight targeted supplements.  Whereas for the last several years the Environmental Research Center (ERC) has been the most active private enforcer for dietary supplements, there appears to be a new enforcer in town, Safe Products for Californians, LLC, which issued most of the dietary supplement notices last week. One supplement, purportedly sold by Muscle Gauge Nutrition and whose noticing party was the Environmental Research Center, Inc., was targeted for alleged exposures to cadmium. A second product of a different variety was targeted …Read More

DTSC Releases Draft 2018-2020 Priority Product Workplan under the Safer Consumer Product Program

On February 9, 2018, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released its draft 2018-2020 Priority Product Workplan. The Workplan, once finalized, will serve as the starting point for DTSC to select Priority Products under its Safer Consumer Product (SCP) Program. Written comments on the draft will be accepted beginning February 12, 2018, with a deadline of March 9, 2018. DTSC also will hold a public workshop on the draft Workplan on February 26, 2018 at Cal/EPA headquarters in Sacramento. Under the SCP Program, DTSC identifies product and chemical of concern combinations – i.e., Priority Products – via formal rulemaking. The “responsible entity” for a Priority Product – a manufacturer, assembler or retailer – must undertake an alternative assessment of the Priority Product to determine whether a safer alternative to the identified chemical of concern is available. Regulatory responses (such as labeling or even product bans) may be imposed …Read More

Will Coffee Require Cancer Warnings in California? – And Other Proposition 65 Developments

By Aisha Keown-Lang A California state judge will soon decide whether coffee will require Proposition 65 warnings. The lawsuit in question, filed by Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) in 2010, claims that dozens of coffee suppliers and retailers failed to provide clear and reasonable Proposition 65 warnings for acrylamide, a Proposition 65-listed carcinogen that is formed during the coffee roasting process. If CERT succeeds, cancer warnings could be required on cups of coffee or shops that sell coffee, and coffee retailers could face high fines for failure to comply. Two defendants, BP West Coast Products and Yum Yum Donuts Inc. have chosen to settle and agreed to post warnings and pay fines of $675,000 and $250,000, respectively. This enforcement action highlights the criticism that Proposition 65 has encountered for years. The law allows private citizens, groups, and attorneys to take businesses to court on behalf of the …Read More

OEHHA Releases Guidance on Proposition 65 Safe Harbor Warnings

By Jennifer Karpinski Singh In December 2017, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) released Proposition 65 guidance for website and catalog safe harbor warnings. The guidance, in the form of questions and answers, is intended to clarify the new safe harbor warning requirements that will become fully effective on August 30, 2018. As an initial note, businesses are not required to comply with OEHHA’s safe harbor provisions and are technically free to use any warning text and method of transmitting warnings in order to comply with Proposition 65 – as long as the warnings are “clear and reasonable” under the statute. However, disputes may arise about whether a warning is “clear and reasonable,” and businesses must be prepared to defend the warnings they use. To provide certainty to businesses and help avoid disputes on what is “clear and reasonable,” OEHHA (and its predecessor agency back in 1987) …Read More