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06/28/2010 11:51 AM     print story email story  

California Releases Draft Regulation for Toxic Substances News

California's Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) last week released a draft regulation that sets forth a process for the design of safer products.

The Draft Regulation for Safer Consumer Products would implement a key component of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Green Chemistry Initiative, which he signed into law in 2008.

The draft regulation creates a systematic, science-based process to evaluate chemicals of concern in products. It is also expected to stimulate innovation in California’s product development sector.

“Study after study have shown that many consumer products are not safe, resulting with more and more being recalled,” said DTSC Acting Director Maziar Movassaghi. “This draft regulation is the first of its kind in the nation, and it essentially shifts the way government, industry and the public think about the products that end up in our homes.”

Movassaghi cited the recently released report from the President’s Cancer Panel, which made “green chemistry” approaches a priority recommendation. The report concluded that “safer alternatives for many currently used chemicals [are] urgently needed.”

He also cited the recently released report from Environment California “Green Chemistry at Work” which recognizes 11 California companies that are already leading the green chemistry revolution as a part of their existing business model.

The draft regulation would prioritize toxic chemicals and products, require manufacturers to seek safer alternatives to toxic chemicals in their products, and create tough governmental responses for lack of compliance.

Specifically, under the draft regulation, DTSC would create a list of chemicals that are toxic and can harm people or the environment. Products containing those chemicals would be prioritized based upon such factors as the volume in commerce, the extent of public exposure and how the product is eventually disposed. Manufacturers of those products would perform an “alternatives assessment” to determine if a viable safer alternative is available.

“I’m confident companies will step up to the plate and create new markets for ‘green’ products,” Movassaghi said. “We’re already seeing the demand, and innovative industry leaders are responding to that demand more and more. California is a cradle for innovation, and these companies are clearly leading the way. We are on the threshold of achieving what no other state or country has achieved.”

DTSC will hold two half-day public workshops on the draft regulation on July 7-8, 2010.

Following the July workshops, DTSC intends to begin the formal Administrative Procedures Act (APA) rulemaking process which it plans on completing by the end of this calendar year.

For more information and to access a copy of the draft regulation, go to the link below.


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