The urgent need to change the way we interact with chemicals on a daily basis has lead to the implication of Green Chemistry Initiatives in industry. Green chemistry emphases on the design of chemical products and processes in order to reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. Its main goal is to promote environmental protection.
On March 13, 2014, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) announced the list of the first products and chemicals to be evaluated under the state’s innovative Safer Chemical Product regulations. This law is an implementation of California’s innovative Green Chemistry program which started in 2008 trying to regulate toxic chemicals in consumer products and encourage the elimination or substitution of safer chemical ingredients. This list included:
• Children’s foam padding sleeping products containing the flame retardant TDCPP, also known as chlorinated tris.
• Spray polyurethane foam systems containing unreacted diisocyanatos, which are commonly used in home insulation; and
• Paint strippers, varnish removers, and industrial-strength surface cleaners containing methylene chloride.
On September 12, 2014, DTSC proposed to add six new product categories which involve:
• Beauty, personal care, and hygiene products
• Building products and household, office furniture and furnishings
• Cleaning products
• Fishing and angling equipment
• Office machinery
The regulatory process for that Priority Product will start after DTSC reviews and responds to the public comments.
According to the existing law, manufacturers are required to notify DTSC when their product appears on the product list. After that, the manufacturer has to decide whether he will remove the chemical of concern without substituting any other alternative chemical on DTSC’s list of chemicals of concern; or cease sales of the product to California; or prepare the analysis of alternatives for submittal to DTSC. It is on DTSC’s disposal to look for civil penalties and injunctive relief against companies that fail to comply with these requirements.