California state regulators recently announced plans to potentially regulate two additional groups of chemicals under the state’s Safer Consumer Products Program (“SCP”). The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”) has proposed adding microplastics and para-Phenylenediamine (“PPD”) derivatives to its Candidate Chemicals List (“CCL”) due to their reported impacts on human health and the environment. Regulators are beginning a public comment process in the hopes of gathering valuable input and feedback from stakeholders to help inform a potential regulatory proposal.
Scientific evidence has been growing regarding the harmful effects of microplastics on both human health and the environment. These minuscule plastic particles, released directly or through the breakdown of larger plastic items, persist and spread throughout the ecosystem. DTSC detailed this issue and identified products that release microplastics into the environment as one of their top five policy priorities in the 2021-2023 Priority Product Work Plan.
PPD derivatives, a family of chemicals widely used in various industrial applications, have also come under scrutiny. Specifically, 6PPD, a member of the PPD derivative family, is extensively used in motor vehicle tires to prevent degradation over time. DTSC is finalizing regulations to include motor vehicle tires containing 6PPD on its Priority Product List. This regulation will require tire manufacturers to identify and assess potential alternatives to 6PPD that ensure tire safety and performance. By adding the entire PPD derivative class to the CCL, manufacturers will be prompted to thoroughly evaluate the tradeoffs involved before switching from 6PPD to another PPD derivative.
Adding chemicals to the CCL does not automatically impose new requirements. Instead, it enables the SCP Program to select consumer products containing these chemicals for evaluation and potential regulation as Chemicals of Concern in Priority Products.
Public workshops are scheduled for June and July, providing an opportunity for interested parties to contribute to the discussion and share their expertise. Information on the upcoming workshops can be found here.