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California Bill Would Require Disclosure of Chemicals Used in Cleaning Products

California-based consumer watchdog group Center for Environmental Health is hailing the introduction in the California Senate of legislation (SB 258) to require full and complete disclosure of the chemicals used in any product used primarily for commercial, domestic or institutional cleaning purposes, including air care products, automotive products, general cleaning products, and polish and floor maintenance products. The legislation is part of a broader effort by U.S. states to address potentially hazardous chemicals that the Environmental Protection Agency has not yet regulated and may not be actively considering.

The legislation would require cleaning products manufactured or sold in California to disclose on a label (i) a list of each ingredient and contaminant of concern contained in the product in descending order of predominance (an ingredient present at a concentration of not more than one percent could be listed without respect to order of predominance following the other ingredients and contaminants of concern); (ii) a pictogram that communicates the potential health impacts of any of the ingredients or contaminants of concern in the product that appear on the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s list of candidate chemicals or among the allergenic fragrances that appear on the list of Annex III of EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009 (the California Environmental Protection Agency would be required to develop the model pictogram to be used on the label); and (iii) a statement directing the consumer to the manufacturer’s website for information concerning ingredients contained in the product.

The manufacturer of a cleaning product would be required to post on its website, in an electronically readable format, a list of all ingredients and contaminants of concern contained in the product in descending order of predominance, including each ingredient or contaminant of concern’s name, its Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) number, and the functional purpose served by the ingredient or contaminant of concern. An ingredient or contaminant of concern present at a concentration below one percent may be listed in any order following the other ingredients and contaminants of concern.

If the list of ingredients and contaminants of concern includes a chemical that appears on DTSC’s list of candidate chemicals or is an allergenic fragrance that appears on the list in Annex III of EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009, the manufacturer would have to include on the label a statement that information about potential health impacts of the ingredients may be obtained from its website. In addition, the manufacturer would be required to provide links on its website to each of the following lists on which the chemical or chemicals appear: (1) the list of candidate chemicals posted on DTSC’s website and (2) Annex III of EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009.

CEH states that cleaning products contain chemicals that are poisonous, are linked to cancer and other serious health problems, and/or are chemicals that contribute to indoor air pollution. The association believes the proposed legislation would provide California consumers “vital information” needed to “make informed choices in the marketplace.”

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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