New York Requires Public Disclosure of Chemicals in Household Cleaning Products

You are here

June 11, 2018 - Kirsten Wallerstedt

On 6 June 2018, New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) finalized the Policy on Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure, which is only the second policy of its kind in the U.S. The program requires manufacturers of cleaning products which are sold in New York to disclose the ingredients of those products on their websites. These companies must also identify any ingredients that are listed as chemicals of concern on any authoritative lists, and also must identify any ingredient which is a nanoscale material.
 
Authoritative lists
The authoritative lists of chemicals of concern may be found in Appendix B of the new policy. These include:
  • California Proposition 65 substances;
  • EU chemical lists identifying: carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxicants (CMRs) categories 1A or 1B; endocrine disruptors (EDs); persistent bioaccumulative and toxic substances (PBTs) or very persistent and bioaccumulative substances; respiratory sensitizers; and fragrance allergens;
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) IRIS neurotoxicants and carcinogens;
  • U.S. ATSDR neurotoxicants;
  • U.S. EPA Priority Chemicals List, PBTs, and TSCA Chemicals of Concern;
  • US NTP developmental or reproductive toxicants and carcinogens lists;
  • Canada PBTs; and
  • IARC carcinogens;
  • Among others.
Affected products
Products covered by the program include but are not limited to "soaps and detergents containing a surfactant as a wetting or dirt emulsifying agent and used primarily for domestic or commercial cleaning purposes, including but not limited to the cleansing of fabrics, dishes, food utensils and household and commercial premises."
 
The specific products affected by the above definition may include: bleach (non-FIFRA regulated), cleaners, descalers, dish cleaning/care, drain treatments, food treatments, stain removers, surface cleaners, toilet cleaning products, detergents, fabric protectors, laundry products, surface care products, and hygiene variety packs.
 
Exclusions
The program does not cover: foods, drugs and cosmetics, including personal care items such as toothpaste, shampoo and hand soap; products labeled, advertised, marketed and distributed for use primarily as pesticides, as defined in Article 33 of the Environmental Conservation Law; nor cleansing products used primarily in industrial manufacturing, production and assembling processes.
 
Business Impact
As a result of this policy, manufacturers must submit the "Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Certification Form" to DEC, and must post the specified information on their website "in a manner that is obvious, noticeable and readily accessible." Nanoscale materials and ingredients listed as a chemical of concern on an authoritative list must be specifically identified.
 
More specifications are provided in the "posting parameters" section of the policy. The full policy can be found here. The DEC also provided a document with their responses to comments.
 
The regulation allows for Confidential Business Information (CBI) to be withheld from disclosure.
 
Under the policy, manufacturers must update their disclosures each time the ingredients in a product change, a new product is introduced to the market, or a list of chemicals of concern is changed to include an ingredient present in any of their products. Disclosure updates related to a change in a list of chemicals of concern should be made no later than six months after the adoption of the revised list by the authoritative body. Legacy data for discontinued products should be posted for two years after the product is discontinued.
 
Effective dates
The first deadline for compliance is 1 July 2019 for the following:
  • Intentionally added ingredients, other than flavor ingredients;
  • Nonfunctional ingredients present above trace quantities; and
  • Any other required information which is not listed below.
An exception to the first two bullets above is provided for companies with fewer than 100 persons, which have until 1 July 2020 to comply with those provisions.
 
The second deadline for compliance is 1 July 2020, by which time all affected manufacturers must post the required information for the following:
  • Fragrance ingredients;
  • Nonfunctional byproducts listed in Appendix D present at or above 100 ppm, except for 1,4 dioxane, which should be reported at or above 350 ppt, and PFOA and PFOS, which should be reported at a combined level of at or above 70 ppt;
  • Nonfunctional contaminants listed in Appendix D present at or above 100 ppm, except for 1,4 dioxane, which should be reported at or above 350 ppt, and PFOA and PFOS, which should be reported at a combined level of at or above 70 ppt;
  • Information regarding investigations and research concerning effects on human health and the environment; and
  • Information regarding Category 3 GHS Skin Irritants and GHS Aquatic Toxins.
No exceptions are provided to the second deadline.
 
The final deadline is 1 January 2023 by which manufacturers must post the required information for:
  • Nonfunctional byproducts which appear on one or more of the lists of chemicals of concern named in Appendix B and are present at or above the practical quantitation limit; and
  • Nonfunctional contaminants which appear on one or more of the lists of chemicals of concern named in Appendix B and are present at or above the thresholds described in Section V.A.3 of the Policy, which covers CBI and is called “Confidential Business Information and Extent of Disclosure.”
Similar laws
California also has a Cleaning Products Right to Know Act, which also requires disclosure of substances with the potential to harm human health or the environment, as well as fragrance mixtures. California was the first U.S. state to pass such a law. New York is the second.








VERISK ANALYTICS®
Top