California “Safer Consumer Products Regulation (SCPR)”

Legislation enacted by the California legislature in 2008, A.B. 1879, requires the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to adopt regulations to identify and prioritize “chemicals of concern” in consumer products.  The regulation has been proposed under the label “Safer Consumer Products Regulation (SCPR).”  The latest version of the SCPR was published by the DTSC in July 2012 and the Department expects to finalize the rule by the end of 2012.  If finalized in its present form, the regulation provides for a four-step process with the aim of identifying safer consumer product alternatives as follows:

  • The DTSC will establish an immediate list (within 30 days of the regulations effective date) of approximately 1200 “Chemicals of Concern” using 22 existing authoritative body lists. Lead, cadmium, mercury and nickel are on some of the authoritative lists and might be included in the list of 1200.
  • The DTSC will evaluate and prioritize products containing any or a combination of the Chemicals of Concern to develop a list of “Priority Products” for which alternatives analysis must be conducted.
  • Once the list of priority products is established, manufacturers, importers or retailers (responsible entities) will be required to notify DTSC when their product is listed as a priority product.  The product will then be listed on the DTSC website and the responsible entity must perform an alternative analysis (AA) for the product and the chemical of concern to propose alternative chemicals or means of limiting exposure to the chemical.
  • DTSC will be required to set forth regulations forcing the use of feasible alternatives of least concern.

The California Foundation for Commerce and Education (CFCE) has estimated that the regulation will cost $170 billion in its first 25 years of implementation and cause the loss of 100,000 jobs.

The Council is following the development of this regulation and will advise member companies of DTSC evaluations of metals.