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OEHHA Proposes Overhaul of Prop 65 Warning Regulations — But Will It Help or Hurt?

On March 7, 2014, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment published a pre-regulatory draft of new Proposition 65 warning regulations.  The draft represents a complete overhaul of the decades-old regulations and is intended to address their numerous shortcomings.  However, the draft regulations, if finalized in their current form with their burdensome requirements and ambiguities, likely will create more problems than they solve.  Although the draft is not a formal rulemaking, the public is invited to comment.  Businesses and their trade organizations should be sure to present their position on the package before the May 14, 2014 deadline. Under…

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Another TSCA Modernization Bill?

On February 27, 2014, House Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) released a discussion draft of a TSCA reform bill, the Chemicals in Commerce Act.  The draft keys off the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (S. 1009), a bipartisan Senate TSCA modernization bill introduced last year.  With industry and non-governmental organizations already taking well-trodden sides, the new draft legislation offers as much controversy as compromise. The draft legislation's dual objectives are to improve public confidence in the safety of chemicals and to facilitate interstate commerce.  The two goals are illustrated in what likely will be one of the most controversial provisions:  preemption of…

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Proposition 65 Plaintiffs Off to Another High Volume Year of Enforcement

Proposition 65 private enforcers have wasted no time in 2014, serving 95 notices of violation so far this year -- that's over three per business day.  Most of the notices target well-known issues like DEHP in fashion accessories, lead in apparel and lead in dietary supplements.  Food is the subject of several notices served by the Center for Environmental Health and the Council for Education and Research on Toxics; these entities are targeting alleged exposures to lead and acrylamide in baby food, ginger, cookies, licorice and baking mixes.  Shefa LMV, Crystal Gerard and the Center for Environmental Health have served…

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When Worlds Collide — What Happens When Non-California Consumers See A Prop 65 Warning

With geographically extensive distribution systems, companies often struggle with how to provide Proposition 65 warnings on California-bound products without having to label all products distributed nationally or globally.  It's costly and burdensome, and sometimes impossible, to label only products intended to be sold in California.  But labeling all products no matter where they are bound raises another concern: that non-California consumers, unused to seeing these warnings, will reject a product simply because it bears a Prop 65 warning.  A recent news item coming out of Tennessee initially would suggest that those fears are well-founded but a closer look tells a…

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SCP Regulations: DTSC’s Informational Candidate Chemicals List May Not Be As Informational As You Think….

Effective October 1, 2013, the Safer Consumer Products Regulations establish a complex process by which "responsible entities" (manufacturers, importers, retailers and assemblers) will be required to analyze chemicals of concern in specified consumer products -- which DTSC will call "Priority Products" -- to determine whether safer alternatives exist.  The outcome of these alternatives analyses will determine what regulatory response DTSC will impose on the Priority Product or the selected safer alternative; regulatory responses range from product information requirements (think Proposition 65 Plus) to end-of-life management requirements, to sales bans.  And, if this process weren't complex enough, watch out:  DTSC's "Informational"…

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