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DEC launches new disclosure program to protect consumers from chemicals in household cleaning products

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Wed, Jun 6th 2018 12:30 pm
New York is first state in nation to require manufacturers to disclose chemical ingredients in cleaning products
New program gives consumers information about potentially harmful chemicals
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the release of New York's final policy and form for manufacturer disclosures under the state's household cleansing product information disclosure program. Introduced in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2017 State of the State, the household cleansing product information disclosure program requires manufacturers of cleaning products sold in New York to disclose chemical ingredients, as well as other information, on their websites.
New York will be the first state in the nation to require such disclosure. The state's program goes beyond initiatives in other states by requiring the robust disclosure of byproducts and contaminants, as well as chemicals with the potential to trigger asthma in adults and children.
Seggos said, "Protecting New Yorkers and the environment from harmful chemicals is of the utmost importance to the state, and Gov. Cuomo is leading the nation by requiring these manufacturers to disclose information about all of the chemicals that might be found in household cleaning products, including byproducts and other impurities. The household cleansing product information disclosure program will help the state better understand what chemical hazards the public is exposed to, especially from products made in countries with less protective environmental laws than the U.S., and reduce exposure to chemicals of concern."
Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program
Overseen by the DEC, the household cleansing product information disclosure program requires manufacturers to disclose the name and unique chemical number of all intentionally added ingredients, including fragrances; all byproducts, such as 1,4 dioxane, including those present in trace quantities that appear on state, national or international lists of identified chemicals of concern; and any impurity due to environmental contamination present in trace quantities that appear on such lists and are present above levels found in well-regulated public water systems located in the U.S.
Additional disclosures required by the program include a prominent statement regarding the nature and extent of information being withheld as confidential business information; the listing of ingredients in order of predominance by weight; a clear method of indicating that a chemical has been identified as a chemical of concern; the provision of a toll-free number to answer consumer requests for more information; and the posting of studies the manufacturer has conducted on the health and environmental effects of any of its products and ingredients.
The household cleansing product information disclosure program is the result of extensive discussions with a variety of stakeholders, including industry, private citizens, state agencies and advocacy groups, as well as a lengthy public comment period. Significant changes were made to DEC's original proposal to better address concerns raised by the stakeholders.
In addition to this information appearing on manufacturer websites by July 1, DEC is working with the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse to develop and maintain a database of links to the disclosed information for ease of consumer access.
More information about the household cleansing product information disclosure program and the certification form can be found on the DEC's website at https://on.ny.gov/cleaningproducts.
"We thank Gov. Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation for this leadership action. New York's new cleaning product ingredient disclosure program is both years in the making and incredibly timely. It will help workers and families identify which products are healthiest. Coupled with a recent law in California, it creates a strong national model and will benefit not only New Yorkers, but all Americans. We look forward to the governor's continued leadership on product ingredient disclosure for personal care products," said Kathleen Curtis, executive director of Clean and Healthy New York.
It is expected that New York's approach to cleaning product ingredient disclosure will serve as an example that can be expanded into other sectors of public disclosure or mirrored by other governments.

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