not to have been diminished by increased federal oversight of
Perennial legislation on flame retardants, ingredient disclosure (particularly for cleaning products), and establishing
lists of reportable chemicals of concern remain in play this year
across the country. But new issues—and states that do not frequently consider chemicals policies—are also coming to the
Mississippi and West Virginia, for instance, have introduced measures to ban certain flame retardants in children’s
products and upholstered furniture. And Iowa has proposed a
bill to ban triclosan in cleaning products.
Meanwhile, in Hawaii the legislature has proposed more
than 10 separate bills to address oxybenzone, a common sun-screen ingredient linked to concerns for coral organisms.
There has also been an uptick in legislation focused on fluo-rochemistries, particularly in food packaging.
Other states are seeking to expand on existing chemicals
In Vermont, a measure was introduced in the House and
Senate (HB 268/S103) that comprises the “wish list of every
nonprofit that wants to regulate the chemicals industry,”
according to the Toy Industry Association’s director of state
affairs, Owen Caine.
At around 80 pages in length, the measure covers “every
aspect of the economy,” Caine said. Among a number of
hazardous waste requirements, it would also “dramatically
expand” Vermont’s children’s product reporting requirements
to cover all consumer products, with some exceptions.
The measure also seeks to:
• require the removal of reportable substances from chil-
dren’s products within six years of a manufacturer’s first
report to the state;
• ban the manufacture or sale of dental floss or food
contact materials containing perfluoroalkyl substances
• establish an interagency committee to identify sub-
stances of concern and propose measures that address
risks they may pose, in consultation with a citizen advi-
“There is literally no part of the economy or supply chain
that isn’t affected by this legislation—it is incredibly damaging
and poses huge regulatory burdens on anyone who does business in Vermont,” said Caine.
Meanwhile, he pointed out that the New York Department
of Environmental Conservation announced it will require
cleaning product ingredient disclosure under a decades-old
law, and has labelled these new guidelines as a test case for
other kinds of products.
“This is an example of ... ignoring the legislature,” he said.
With bills slow to pass, it appears New York has moved to a
regulatory authority that “loosely has the authority” to act.
Now that TSCA has been reformed, said Caine, stakeholders are looking for “other ways to get at the information—and
ultimately restrictions”—on chemicals.
Kelly Franklin is Editor, North America, for Chemical Watch.
©2016. Reproduced from Chemical Watch by permission of CW
Research Ltd. www.chemicalwatch.com