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Washington State Proposes to Update List of High-Concern Chemicals

Washington State’s Department of Ecology will hold a public hearing on 25 April and will accept comments from interested parties by 12 May on a proposal to update the regulations that enforce the Children’s Safe Products Act, a landmark law adopted in 2008 that bans the use of lead, cadmium, phthalates and five toxic flame retardants in children’s products and requires manufacturers to report whether their products contain chemicals of high concern to children.

According to the Department of Ecology, the proposed changes would add 21 chemicals to the reporting list of chemicals of high concern to children based on new scientific data (including two chemicals that are present as mixtures) while removing three chemicals from the list (phthalic anhydride, octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane, and molybdenum and molybdenum compounds) based on revised scientific data. The additions include six flame retardant chemicals identified by the Washington State legislature in 2016, namely IPTPP, TBB, TBPH, TCPP, TPP and V6. Additionally, the Department of Ecology is proposing to:

  • change the grouped nonylphenol chemicals of high concern to children into three individual listings (4-nonylphenol, nonyl phenol and 4-nonyl phenol (NP) branched);
  • set a single annual reporting date of 31 January consistent with reporting in other states; and
  • make other minor amendments.

The Department of Ecology hopes to issue a final rule on 1 September and implement the changes on 2 October. The first annual reports following the adoption of the new rule would be due on 31 January 2019. The agency estimates the total costs of adding the proposed chemicals to the list and separating the existing single listing into three chemical listings to range from US$1.4 million to US$8.1 million over a 20-year period. Meanwhile, the benefits of removing the three chemicals from the list are likely to range from US$12.3 million and US$24.6 million over the same 20-year period.

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