California’s Safer Consumer Product Regulations

On August 28, 2013, California’s safer consumer product regulations (otherwise known as the “green chemistry rules”) Californias-Green-Chemistry-Initiativewere approved by the Office of Administrative Law and were filed with the Secretary of State; they will take effect on October 1, 2013.

California now has the authority to regulate every ingredient in every product sold in California, with limited exceptions.   At 72 pages, the regulations set out a multi-year, information- and paperwork-intensive process that gets more voluminous and complex with each successive phase of implementation.

Step One [September 2013]

  • An initial list of chemicals (“chemicals of concern”) will be released that will be the basis for regulation and is expected to contain around 230 chemicals.  Any company selling products into California will need to review the list of chemicals against their product’s chemical formulation to determine if their products contain any of these chemicals.
  • If products do contain any of these chemicals, companies will need to begin the process of identifying who within their supply chain will be responsible for compliance requests, toxicity testing and notification under the regulations.
  • These regulations apply to “manufacturers, importers, assemblers, and retailers”

Step Two [Spring 2014]

  • A plan will be published that will identify the products in need of immediate regulation and for the particular product/chemical combination and the “alternatives analysis” to determine if “safer chemicals” could be used.
  • Final selection of priority products is expected to occur no later than October 2014

Step Three [Fall 2014]

  • Once priority products have been identified, companies supplying those products can respond by sending a “Priority Product Notification” indicating that they do not sell a product in California that contains the chemical of concern.
  • A company can send a “Priority Product Notification” indicating that they will remove the product for sale in California (“Product Removal Intent Notification”)
  • A company can send a “Priority Product Notification” indicating that they will remove the chemical of concern from the product (“Chemical Removal Intent Notification”)
  • A company can send a “Priority Product Notification” indicating that they will replace the chemical in the product (“Product-Chemical Replacement Intent Notification”)
  • After the company submits their initial notification they must then submit a second notice indicating that the first action has been completed (“Confirmation Notification”)
  • Within the first 60 days of the “Priority Product Notification” the company can submit a “Alternative Analysis Threshold Notification” which indicates that the chemicals of concern contained within the product are less than the threshold amount.  This notification must include;
    • Name and Contact information of the person submitting the notification
    • Name and Contact information for all manufacturers, importers, assemblers and retailers
    • Certification that the chemical is present in the product only as a contaminate and the concentration does not exceed the PQL threshold and the method used to determine the PQL
    • Source of the chemical in the product
    • All brand names and labeling information for products and if a component the names of all known products in which the component is used
    • Laboratory methodologies, location and quality assurance/quality control protocols used to measure the chemical
    • Attestation for the controls that will be in place to assure that threshold will not be exceeded