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Your regular update for technical and industry information

USA: Washington state adopts rule for safer consumer products

JUNE 2023 - ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS, HARDLINES, SOFTLINES, CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

On 31 May 2023, US Washington State adopted the rule for Safer Products Restrictions and Reporting (Chapter 173-337 WAC1). Under the new rule, certain

consumer products containing priority chemicals are restricted or reporting is required. This aims to reduce toxic chemicals in consumer products and improve the transparency of product ingredients. The first restriction will apply from 1 January 2025 and the first reporting deadline is 31 January 2025.

Under the Toxic Pollution law (Chapter 70A.350 RCW2), it is a process to phase out the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products. That involves3 the designation of priority chemicals, identification of consumer products that contain these chemicals, decision of regulatory actions and finally adoption of rules to regulate these chemical-product combinations. 

Tables A and B summarize restriction and reporting requirements of the following priority chemicals and products: 

a) PFAS in aftermarket stain- and water-resistance treatments, carpets and rugs, and leather and textile furnishings.
b) Ortho-phthalates in vinyl flooring and in personal care product fragrances.
c) Organohalogen flame retardants in electric and electronic products.
d) Organohalogen flame retardants and organophosphate flame retardants in recreational polyurethane foam.
e) Phenolic compounds in laundry detergent, food and drink can linings, and thermal paper.

The Department of Ecology introduced a concept of a rebuttable presumption. When the Department tests regulated products to check compliance and the priority chemicals are found at or above the level identified in the rule, the Department will presume the chemicals were intentionally added. The manufacturer can then rebut that presumption by certifying that they are not intentionally adding the priority chemicals and providing evidence to support this statement. 

Manufacturers of priority consumer products (reporting parties) must submit a notification to the Department of Ecology via High Priority Chemicals Data System4 (HPCDS) if these chemicals are intentionally added or exceed corresponding limits. The reporting requirement will take effect on 1 January 2024 and the manufacturers must submit the report by 31 January 2025 and the information is submitted annually. The reporting parties may submit a revised notification to Ecology when a priority consumer product no longer contains an intentionally added priority chemical. 

Table A: Summary of restriction requirement for priority chemicals in consumer products

Priority chemical

Product

Limit

Effective date
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances PFAS)
Aftermarket stain- and water-resistance treatments to textiles and leather products
  • Prohibited if it is intentionally added
  • Rebuttable presumptiona
1 January 2025
Carpet and rugs
  • Prohibited if it is intentionally added
  • Rebuttable presumptiona

1 January 2025

Leather and textile furniture and furnishings intended for indoor use
  • Prohibited if it is intentionally added
  • Rebuttable presumptiona
1 January 2026

Ortho-phthalates

Fragrances in beauty products and personal care products
  • Prohibited if it is intentionally added
  • Rebuttable presumptionb
1 January 2025
Vinyl flooring

≤ 1000 ppm (individual or combined)

1 January 2025

Organohalogen flame retardants

Electric and electronic products with plastic external enclosures, intended for indoor use
  • Prohibited if it is intentionally added
  • Rebuttable presumptionc
Electronic displays and television (1 January 2025)

Other products for Group 1d (1 January 2027)

Other products for Group 2d (1 January 2028) 
Organohalogen flame retardants and organophosphate flame retardants

Recreational products made from polyurethane foam:

  • Recreational covered flooring 
  • Recreational covered mats
  • Outdoor recreational products 
  • Uncovered recreational products
  • Prohibited if it is intentionally added
  • Rebuttable presumptione
1 January 2025

Alkylphenol ethoxylates

Laundry detergent

Alkylphenol ethoxylates: ≤ 1000 ppm (individual or combined)

1 January 2025
Bisphenols
Drink can linings

No bisphenol-based epoxy can liner excluding tetramethyl bisphenol F (TMBPF) epoxy can liners

1 January 2025
Thermal paper
  • Prohibited if it is intentionally added
  • Rebuttable presumptionf
1 January 2026
Table B: Summary of reporting requirements for priority chemicals in consumer products

Priority chemicals Product Limit

Deadline for first reporting

PFAS
 Leather and textile furniture and furnishings intended for outdoor use
  • Report if intentionally added
  • Rebuttable presumptiona
31 January 2025

Organohalogen flame retardants

Electric and electronic products with external enclosures, intended for outdoor use

  • Report if intentionally added
  • Rebuttable presumptionc

Organohalogen flame retardants and organophosphate flame retardants

Recreational covered wall padding made from polyurethane foam

  • Report if intentionally added
  • Rebuttable presumptione
Bisphenols
Food can linings

Report if intentionally added excluding TMBPF epoxy can liners

Remarks:

a) The Department presumes the detection of total fluorine as intentionally added.

b) The Department presumes the detection of ortho-phthalates not listed in the ingredients, indicates the intentional addition of ortho-phthalates as solvents or fixatives for fragrance ingredients.

c) The Department presumes the detection of total bromine in concentrations above 1000 ppm in homogeneous materials; total chlorine in concentration above 1000 ppm in homogeneous materials; total fluorine in concentrations above 1000 ppm with less than 5000 ppm total phosphorus as intentionally added organohalogen flame retardants. 

d) Other products mean all-in-one video conference systems, displays integrated in appliances and are not available for purchase as a separate product by end-users, displays with a screen area smaller than or equal to 100 square centimetres or 15.5 square inches, projectors, and virtual reality headsets.

Group 1 means a person or entity whose gross sales equal or exceed 1 billion dollars in 2022; 
Group 2 means a person or entity whose gross sales are less than 1 billion dollars in 2022.

e) The Department presumes the detection of total bromine in concentrations above 1000 ppm in homogeneous materials; total chlorine in a concentration above 1000 ppm in homogeneous materials; total fluorine in concentrations above 1000 ppm as intentionally added organohalogen flame retardants; 

The following organophosphate flame retardants (individual or combined) at concentrations above 1000 ppm in the homogeneous materials are considered as intentionally added organophosphate flame retardants:

  • Ethylhexyl diphenyl phosphate (EHDPP, CAS no: 1241-94-7);
  • Isopropylated triphenyl phosphate (IPTPP, CAS no: 68937-41-7);
  • Tributyl phosphate (TNBP, CAS no: 126-73-8);
  • Triorthocresyl phosphate (TCP, CAS no: 1330-78-5);
  • Triphenyl phosphate (TPP, CAS no: 115-86-6).

f) The Department presumes the detection of bisphenols in concentration above 200 ppm as intentionally added bisphenols. 


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[1] WAC Chapter 173-337 Safer products restrictions and reporting

[2] Toxic Pollution law (Chapter 70A.350 RCW)

[3] Safer Products for Washington webpage

[4] High Priority Chemicals Data System (HPCDS) 

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