As of October 1, California has officially begun its “green chemistry” program, intended to require industry to use safer chemicals in some products. The program implements a 2008 state law, AB 1879. Regulations governing how California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will determine the affected chemicals and products and measures that must be taken regarding those chemicals and products became effective October 1.
Under the law, manufacturers will be required to study whether replacing “chemicals of concern” with alternatives is feasible. This “alternatives assessment” process will be required for chemicals identified by DTSC as “chemicals of concern”. DTSC also has the authority to ban certain chemicals. DTSC has stated publicly that it will initially focus on a handful of products, but has not yet identified which products. It has posted informational lists of candidate chemicals which will be considered for regulation, totaling about 150 chemicals. DTSC’s rules establish a process by which a person can petition DTSC to delist one or more chemicals.