California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) issued two preliminary lists on Thursday, September 26th; List One identifies hundreds of chemicals that DTSC could eventually deem a Chemical of Concern. A chemical becomes a Chemical of Concern only when it is the basis for a product being listed as a Priority Product.
List Two, a subset of the first (also known as the “Initial List”), contains approximately 150 chemicals that the agency will focus on within the next six months when deciding which products to list under its Priority Products list. Among others, the Initial List contains chemicals sometimes found in cosmetic and Over the Counter (OTC) drug products such as: formaldehyde (nail care products, hair products), cyclotetrasiloxane (moisturizers, makeup, hair products), aluminum (anti-perspirants), benzene, lead, silica/silicon dioxide (crystalline, respirable size), dibutyl phthalate (nail care products and hair sprays), parabens (makeup, moisturizers, hair products, and shaving products), diethanolamine, and mineral oils: untreated and mildly treated. On April 1, 2014, or 180 days after the Green Chemistry regulations took effect, the DTSC is required to list up to five (5) Priority Products for public comment based on the chemicals in the aforementioned Initial List.
All consumer products, except for a very specifically exempted few, could potentially be listed as a Priority Product. This includes anything from hairspray to stereo systems. However, Debbie Raphael, Director of DTSC, told the Los Angeles Times that the first Priority Products under consideration are: nail polish (tolulene interferes with reproduction); carpet adhesive with formaldehyde; and mercury in fluorescent light bulbs. For any company selling into the state of California, now is the time to take action, become familiar with the listed chemicals, and pursue alternative, safer product formulations before finding your product on the Priority Product list.