From: Inside Counsel

The California Green Chemistry Initiative Proposed Regulation for Safer Consumer Products, scheduled to be released in final form Jan. 1, 2011, holds companies responsible for using the least hazardous chemicals and processes possible in each phase of a product’s life. It covers any product sold in California—from lunchboxes to laundry detergent—and provides strict guidance for a product’s design, manufacture and end-of-life disposal.

Upon the rule’s enactment, a final draft of which was released for public comment Sept. 15, California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will publish a list of priority chemicals that companies must cross-reference with their products’ components. If they use any of those chemicals in a product, the company must then perform an alternative assessment to determine if a safer substitute exists. Unless the company substitutes a safer chemical, it will face repercussions that range, depending on the level of hazard, from a warning label to a market ban.

We will keep you informed of any regulatory changes resulting from this legislation.