Proposed California “Green” Regulations: How To Comment By The Thursday Deadline

It has come to my attention that the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is considering new regulations that, if enacted as drafted, would eliminate what it calls “chemicals of concern” (COCs) from a variety of consumer products, including cosmetics, that are sold in California. The proposed regulations would apply to manufacturers, marketers, importers and retailers, and would include evaluating and prioritizing a list of product and COC combinations so that a list of “Priority Products” can be created. If a product is deemed a “Priority Product,” the manufacturer will be required to perform analyses on the product so the effect of COCs in the product can be limited.

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If limitation of COCs in the product cannot be achieved, the product would need to be removed from sale in California, and retailers of the product would be required to substantiate to the State that they are no longer selling the product.The initial COC list is planned to include at least 1,200 substances. The proposed regulations would not apply to products that are manufactured or stored in, or transported through, California solely for use outside of California. The proposed regulations do not contain an exemption or consideration of any kind for small businesses. If you make products that are sold in the State of California, whether via a physical retail store or online, your business would be affected by these new regulations. You can comment on these proposed rules by 8pm ET (5pm PT) Thursday, October 11, 2012. Here are more details about what you can do:

1. Review the proposed regulations

You can see a link to the entire text of the proposed regulations, and a helpful summary, here. A summary with a quicker overview is posted here.

2. Analyze how they may impact your business

Determine whether your business is affected. Do you have customers in the State of California? Even if you do not, you may wish to consider the long term effect of laws like this that could someday be proposed in states where you do have customers. (My commentary about the potential impact of different states proposing different “safety” regulations for cosmetics can be found here.)

3. Submit comments by Friday

The Professional Beauty Association has set up an online mechanism through which you can submit comments at this link. You can also comment as follows (thanks to Bramble Berry for this contact information):

Krysia Von Burg, Regulations Coordinator
Regulations Section
Department of Toxic Substances Control
P.O. Box 806
Sacramento, CA 95812-0806

Fax: (916) 324-1808

Ms. Von Burg’s phone number is (916) 324-2810. If Ms. Von Burg is unavailable, please call Mr. Cordova at (916) 324-7193.

4. Spread the word

Link to this post and others you come across to help spread the word to your beauty industry friends, customers and associates. You can also link to blog posts by IBN member Anne-Marie Faiola of Bramble Berry here.

Remember, comments are due no later than 5:00pm PT (8pm ET) on October 11, 2012!

IBN's Comments

IBN's comments will ask DTSC to postpone consideration of these proposed new COC regulations until further analysis of their impact on the industry, small businesses in particular, can be performed and evaluated. These are obviously very sweeping proposed changes affecting not only manufacturers, but also retailers and virtually every possible entity in the chain of cosmetics production. Without proper analysis of the impact on small businesses, and whether less sweeping regulations could achieve the same goals, promulgation of new rules of this magnitude are premature.

You Can Comment Too!

These are proposed regulations. They have not yet been enacted. Now is the time to let your voice be heard.

You may submit your own comments using the web link above (or via email, fax, etc., as outlined above). Note that the web link contains text you can edit. While the web link is efficient, it may not be as effective as written comments, so I encourage you to take a moment and send your comments in writing on your company letterhead. (If you don't have any letterhead handy, you can quickly make a sheet by put your logo and company name and address at the top of a document and typing your text underneath.)


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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.