California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control just released its proposed “green chemistry” regulations. The regulations implement Assembly Bill 1879, which is a potential game-changer in how chemicals are regulated. Eschewing the conventional risk management approach embedded in existing federal and state statutes, the regulations require affected manufacturers to engage in an alternatives analysis of consumer products containing “chemicals of concern.” The goal is to identify and adopt safer alternative ingredients or product designs rather than establish explicit acceptable exposure limits. The regulation development process has been long and controversial, with a series of straw men proposals and public workshops. By statute, the regulations must be finalized by January of 2011. Comments are due by November 1, 2010.
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