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Washington State Updates List of High-Concern Chemicals

Washington State’s Department of Ecology has updated 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, by adding 20 chemicals to the reporting list of chemicals of high concern to children based on new scientific data. Slated to enter into force on 30 October, this action also:

  • removes three chemicals from the list (phthalic anhydride, octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane, and molybdenum and molybdenum compounds) based on revised scientific data;
  • changes the grouped nonylphenol chemicals of high concern to children into three individual listings (4-nonylphenol, nonyl phenol and 4-nonyl phenol (NP) branched);
  • sets a single annual reporting date of 31 January consistent with reporting in other states;
  • clarifies the total concentration reporting requirement; and
  • makes other minor amendments.

The addition to the list of new chemicals of high concern to children was based on authoritative sources that identify chemical toxicity and evidence of potential for exposure. The agency estimates the total costs of adding the 20 chemicals to the list and separating the existing single listing into three chemical listings to range from US$1.5 million to US$8.4 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$13.9 million over the same 20-year period. The first annual reports following the adoption of the new rule are due on 31 January 2019.

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