We're working with the Department of Health to implement a new law designed to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products by restricting or eliminating those toxics when safer alternatives are available.
The Toxic Pollution law (Chapter 70A.350 RCW), creates a pathway to keep harmful chemicals out of the environment. Our program that implements the law is called Safer Products for Washington.
What does this law do?
The law authorizes us to regulate classes of chemicals in consumer products. It also identifies the first five priority chemical classes.
The law established a process for us to:
- Designate priority chemicals.
- Identify consumer products that contain these chemicals.
- Decide whether to regulate those chemical-product combinations by requiring reporting or chemical restrictions.
- Adopt rules to implement those regulatory actions.
Chemical restrictions require that safer alternatives are feasible and available. Each of these steps involve stakeholder consultation and legislative reporting.
We are in phase 4—the rulemaking phase. This rulemaking proposes to:
- Implement regulatory actions reported to the Washington State Legislature in June 2022.
- Create reporting requirements and restrictions for manufacturers of priority consumer products that contain priority chemicals. These include:
- PFAS in carpets and rugs, aftermarket stain and water resistance treatments, and leather and textile furnishings.
- Phthalates in personal care products (fragrances) and vinyl flooring.
- Flame retardants in electric and electronic products and recreational polyurethane foam.
- Phenolic compounds in laundry detergent, food and drink can linings, and thermal paper.
- Include provisions for repair and replacement parts, refurbished products, and previously owned products.
How can I participate?
We welcome your participation. For information on this process, and to stay informed about opportunities for review and input:
Story map about safer products
Check out our story map about making consumer products safer. A "story map" is an online application that combines text with graphics, maps, and other multimedia to share information. Below are a few images of the story map.
Safer Products for Washington: We're considering restrictions that you can help shape. Help us make products you use safer from harmful chemicals.
Some products we buy contain harmful chemicals, which make their way into our homes. There, they escape into household air and dust. Toxic chemicals can reach the environment when we use or dispose the products.
In some laundry detergents, chemicals that help soap spread can harm fish when they escape into the environment. In some care and beauty products, chemicals that preserve scents can impair reproduction and development.