Reed Smith Client Alert

Authors: Todd O. Maiden

Type: Client Alerts

California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) took an important step in implementing its Safer Consumer Products program by identifying the first three consumer products that will be targeted for scrutiny. More products will be added to the list in the future, resulting in a complicated assessment process and possible reformulation, or even prohibition. Because the agency is still in the process of developing its regulatory program, manufacturers and retailers of consumer products sold in California should take this opportunity to examine how the Safer Consumer Products program will impact their business.

The recently released list of so-called “Priority Products” subjects certain types of children’s sleeping mats, spray foam used in building insulation, and paint or varnish strippers, for assessment, reformulation, and possible prohibition. Manufacturers and retailers of these products will have to react quickly to respond to the agency’s notice.

California will continue to identify additional products, however, so all manufacturers and retailers of consumer products should take note of these developments and consider how the agency’s implementation of its Safer Consumer Products program will affect their business in California. Given the size and importance of the California market, these regulations will likely become a model for consumer product and chemical safety regulations nationwide. Even if other jurisdictions do not adopt similar requirements, any manufacturer or retailer of consumer products sold in California will be forced to comply with the requirements, resulting in de facto nationwide standards for product safety.

Therefore, manufacturers and retailers of consumer products sold in California should monitor the rulemaking process and consider assisting the agency in developing a regulatory program that works. 

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Client Alert 14-092