Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Washington State Adopts Children's Safe Product Rule to Control Chemicals of Concern to Children

Washington State has adopted a new rule implementing the state's 3-year old Children's Safe Product Act law.  Amongst other things, the rule requires companies to report all children's products manufactured or imported for sale in Washington that contain any of 66 "Chemicals of High Concern to Children" (CHCC) that exceed the "Practical Quantification Limit" (PQL).  The PQL is defined as "the lowest concentration that can be reliably measured within specified limits of precision, accuracy, representativeness, completeness, and comparability during routine laboratory operating conditions."

The rule provides for a phase-in period for reporting different categories of products and the size of the manufacturer and size of the products.  Within 12 months, the largest companies who are making products that are likely to come in contact with the skin of children or be placed in a child's mouth, must make their first report.  First reporting extends out to as long as 84 months (7 years) for "tiny" companies making products with limited potential for contact with children's skin. After the first notice date, reporting must occur annually on the anniversary of the first notice date.

The list of 66 Chemicals of High Concern to Children includes many of the same chemicals usually seen on such lists, including formaldehyde, benzene, Bisphenol A, many phthalates, brominated flame retardants, PFOS, and heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and molybdenum.

Information on the new rule can be found on the Washington State Department of Ecology web site.

A PDF of the full rule can be downloaded and read here, including the list of 66 CHCCs.

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