California’s Green Chemistry Initiative Debuts Three Year Plan
California’s Green Chemistry Initiative Debuts Three Year PlanLooking to encourage the creation of safer consumer products, the state of California under its Green Chemistry Initiative launched a draft of its Three Year Work Plan. The draft plan, published in September of 2014, will ultimately focus on specific Priority Products and their associated chemistries for which safer chemical alternatives must be evaluated. By focusing on select products, the plan hopes to encourage overall “market shifts toward a green economy.”
Over the next three years the plan will limit its evaluations to seven broad product categories:
- Beauty and Personal Care
- Building Products and Household, Office Furniture and Furnishings
- Cleaning Products
- Fishing and Angling Equipment
- Office Machinery and Clothing
Specific types of products within the categories have also been identified for further examination. At this stage specific products have yet to be chosen, with the plan instead looking to lay the roadmap for future regulatory actions by California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the agency responsible for the plan.
The seven categories and their product types were selected after rigorous study and debate, each selected based on multiple aspects such as potential exposures or end-of-life effects.
For example, beauty and personal care was selected not only because products are directly applied to the body, but also because chemical ingredients are often not disclosed. Additionally, this category was selected as common ingredients are known as hazardous for humans and wildlife and may pass through wastewater treatment plants.
The plan intends on selecting a limited number of Priority Products over the next three years, and expects that likely no more than ten products will be added each year.
Taking a long-view approach, the plan looks to be part of an overall design and approach shift in manufacturing toward safer chemistries. While this ambitious plan only is for California, it will likely be watched by other states and if successful even impact national chemical policies.