California Department of Toxic Substances Control Releases Draft 2024-2026 Safer Consumer Products Work Plan

News & Events

June 11, 2024

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control draft 2024-2026 work plan continues to identify and updates broad product categories the agency will consider for potential Priority Products, and requires manufacturers of Priority Products to conduct alternatives analyses.

At the end of May, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released a draft 2024-2026 Priority Product Work Plan for the Safer Consumer Products (SCP) program. The SCP program requires manufacturers of listed products (“Priority Products”) to conduct an alternatives analysis to determine whether safer product chemistries or designs are feasible. The draft work plan identifies broad product categories that DTSC will research and consider for potential Priority Products over the next few years. Note that these categories are not Priority Products and do not require any regulatory response until a specific Priority Product is identified and listed formally. Regardless, the draft work plan serves as notice that these product categories are on the DTSC’s radar, and manufacturers of these products are advised to monitor DTSC’s CalSAFER website for developments and opportunities to provide comment prior to product listing. Similarly, manufacturers of these products should review DTSC’s questions on the draft work plan and provide answers, if interested. Seven product categories will be the focus of DTSC’s efforts under the draft work plan, several of which have been carried forward from the 2020-2023 Work Plan. In addition, where work is already underway, DTSC indicates upcoming activities towards product listing. The seven categories are:

  • Beauty, Personal Care, and Hygiene Products – DTSC is developing a Priority Product profile to list sodium hydroxide in hair straightening products as a Priority Product.
  • Cleaning Products – DTSC plans to release documents in the next few months that will support future rulemaking concerning 1,4-dioxane in personal care and cleaning products. The agency also notes that laundry detergents containing nonylphenol ethoxylates are already in the process for listing as a Priority Product.
  • Building Products and Materials Used in Construction and Renovation – Artificial turf and engineered stone are mentioned specifically as topics of interest.
  • Children’s Products (two categories) – Phthalates, formaldehyde, styrene, bisphenols, and parabens are noted as chemicals of interest.
  • Paints (new, formerly part of building products) – DTSC has created a specific category for paints to highlight its intention to evaluate these products, focusing particularly on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and microplastics in paints.
  • Products That Contain or Generate Microplastics (new) – DTSC is in the process of adding product(s) that generate microplastics to the Candidate Chemicals list. It is not clear which product(s) DTSC will select; however, the draft work plan mentions potential products such as plastic packaging, synthetic clothing and textiles, cigarette filters, tires, and paints.

In addition, DTSC has indicated that it will begin researching several other product categories as resources allow, including:

  • Food packaging;
  • Motor vehicle parts, accessories, maintenance, and repair materials;
  • Electronics, with a particular interest in PFAS and flame retardants;
  • Products used or produced by metal plating and finishing facilities;
  • Pet care products; and
  • Sporting and athletic equipment.

Further, DTSC notes that in the Motor Vehicle Parts category, the designation of motor vehicle tires containing zinc as a Priority Product is expected to start in 2024. DTSC has already designated motor vehicle tires containing the antiozonant 6PPD as a Priority Product and it is unclear how these two efforts will interact.

Moreover, two notable changes in the SCP program are mentioned briefly in the draft work plan:

  • California’s Senate Bill (SB) 502 provided DTSC enhanced authority to require manufacturers to submit available data on product chemical composition, consumer use, and sales. Failure to do so can result in administrative or civil penalties.
  • Under SB 502, DTSC also was given the authority to move directly to regulatory response instead of requiring manufacturers to conduct an alternative analysis. In this case, DTSC will use publicly available studies or existing evaluations of alternatives. How DTSC will assess whether existing analyses meet all the requirements of the regulation remains to be seen.

Regarding the draft work plan, rather than accepting general comments, DTSC has developed nine specific questions to which experts and members of the public are invited to submit answers by July 1, 2024, via CalSAFER. In addition, DTSC will be hosting a virtual workshop to review the draft work plan and receive comments on June 18, 2024.

A copy of the draft three-year work plan is available here. If you have any questions, please contact:

Tom Lewandowski, Ph.D., DABT, ERT, ATS

Jiaru Zhang, M.P.H., DABT
Principal Scientist