On August 28th, the California Secretary of State approved the Safer Consumer Products regulations. They will take effect on October 1, 2013.
To paraphrase the Grateful Dead, what a long strange trip it’s been and will continue to be. These unprecedented regulations require manufacturers, retailers and other responsible entities to seek safer alternatives to chemical ingredients in products that possess a “hazard trait,” as defined by California’s criteria (see California’s Proposed Green Chemistry Rule — Sometimes The Best Of Intentions Are Not Enough). However, a hazard trait does not mean that the product presents any actual risk. California has proclaimed that it now is “lead[ing] the way in producing safer versions of goods already in demand around the world,” but the real question should be whether it is leading the way toward genuinely safer products or a regulatory train wreck. With this final approval, companies need to prepare quickly for compliance. This will require a great deal of cooperation and coordination up and down the supply chain. Some chemical manufacturers, product manufacturers, and their trade associations have already started to form coalitions to address this complex regulatory regime.
Are you ready?