On September 23, Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) introduced the Household Product Labeling Act. You can read the full text here (only 4 pages — yay!), and you can read the Senator’s press release here.
The Act requires that the product label for all household cleaning products include all of the ingredients in that household cleaning product. “Household cleaning product” is defined as follows: household cleaning products, air fresheners, deodorizers, floor and furniture polish, dishwashing soap, drain cleaners, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, epoxies and paints or stains.
The language in this bill is pretty straightforward, but there are a few issues that may or may not need to be addressed as we move forward. Here are some of them:
1. Ingredients is defined as “any fragrance, dye or preservative, and any component of such fragrance, dye or preservative.” My concern is that if your fragrance, dye or preservative supplier has a patent on the fragrance, dye or preservative, or considers the components a trade secret, they may not disclose them to you. If that happens, then you cannot comply with this Act.
2. Is a candle an air freshener? I think room sparys are air fresheners, But what about a candle? If so, and you can’t get fragrance components from your supplier, you cannot comply with this Act as it is currently written.
3. There is a provision that gives the Consumer Product Safety Commission the power to designate other “similar consumer products” subject to the Act at its discretion (or I supposed after rulemaking.) This is very broad and essentially allows them to sweep in any other products they deem fit whenever they want to. This may (or may not) leave too much to chance.
Question: What do you think of this new bill? Are there any issues I may have missed? Do you make any products that are covered by it? Can you get the specific ingredient lists for all of the components of those products? How would this bill, if passed into law, affect your business?