California’s Safer Consumer Products Regulation is out and will be effective October 1, 2013.

Manufacturers of Priority Products are first targets, but if out-of-state manufacturers decline to participate, importers (into the country of California) are responsible, and if they refuse the retailers are on the hook.

California's Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has published an "informational" Candidate List of ~1200 chemicals on everyone's favorite hazardous hit lists by October 31.  This chemical list will be added to and maybe deleted from periodically based on citizen petitions and DTSC discretion, with a more serious list of <250 risky (California exposure and hazard) Candidates. See lists as of 10/7/13 here.

The big target is the first - no more than 5 - Initial Priority Products (PP) with Chemicals of Concern (CoC)(from the Candidate list) that must be published by March 30, 2014.  This listing is subject to notice and public comment.  Once finalized, companies will have to do Alternatives Assessments to either replace the CoC with safer chemicals (that are "functionally acceptable, technically feasible, and economically feasible"), show there are no safer alternatives or withdraw from the market. Within 60 days of listing, companies involved with distributing products with the priority chemical in California must ensure notification is made to DTSC.  Then a Preliminary Alternatives Assessment is due 180 days after  PP listing.  Eventually DTSC will get a final Alternatives Assessment and issue regulations for any surviving Priority Products with CoC.

Meanwhile DTSC can require a lot of information collection to learn about exposure and uses and even require R&D for alternatives.  Expect inquiries to start next month.  DTSC is hoping lots of consortia get going so they only have to deal with a small number of entities making/selling Priority Products.  Expect a lot of market exits.

Interesting background to the reg can be found in the state's Final Statement of Reasons

Of course, there's always the likelihood of lawsuits holding everything up. Not to mention TSCA reform preemption.

Bottom Line:  Companies need to know what chemicals are in their products and be ready to jump fast if their products are caught by California.  You can also start working on delisting petitions if you think you will have the data to support it.


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