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DEC: Several new requirements taking effect for 2023 to protect consumers from harmful chemicals


Tue, Jan 3rd 2023 02:15 pm

Says statewide laws will limit use of 1,4-dioxane, PFAS & chemicals in variety of consumer products

√ New laws for household cleaning, personal care, cosmetics, food packaging & children’s products aim to help prevent public exposure

Several new laws are taking effect in the new year to “help protect public health and the environment by reducing exposure to harmful chemicals in everyday items,” the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced.

At the start of 2023, laws will be implemented that will cover 1,4-dioxane, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and other chemicals used in household cleaning, personal care, cosmetics, food packaging and children’s products.

“DEC prioritizes the health and well-being of New Yorkers and our environment, and the implementation of new laws for chemicals in everyday household products is part of our state’s ongoing commitment to protect communities,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “With the start of the new year, these stringent requirements will build upon our nation-leading efforts to prevent exposure to emerging contaminants.”

A press release said, “PFAS are manmade chemicals that have been widely used in various consumer, commercial and industrial products since the 1940s. These chemicals’ unique properties make them resistant to heat, oil, stains, grease and water, and useful in a wide variety of everyday products. One of the PFAS' was widely used in fire-fighting foam. These same properties also make PFAS challenging when found in our environment. PFAS do not break down easily and persist in the environment, especially in water. Because of widespread use, PFAS releases into the environment have been detected in surface water, groundwater, animals and humans worldwide.

“1,4-dioxane is a synthetic industrial chemical commonly associated with chlorinated solvents and was widely used as a chemical stabilizer in other formulations. It is also a byproduct or contaminant in consumer products such as laundry detergent. 1,4-dioxane has been found in groundwater at sites throughout the United States, particularly in the sole source aquifer of Long Island and in association with legacy industrial and hazardous waste sites. The toxicity and persistence of this compound in the environment represent a growing challenge; once released, this emerging contaminant is extremely costly to clean up from the environment, treatment technologies to remove 1,4-dioxane from drinking water supplies are complex and costly.”

DEC will implement restrictions on the following chemicals for the following uses:

1,4 Dioxane in Household, Personal Care & Cosmetic Products

Effective Dec. 31, 2022, New York state will require a maximum allowable concentration of two parts per million (PPM) of 1,4-dioxane in household cleaning and personal care products, and a 10-ppm limit is established for cosmetics. A limit of 1 ppm for 1,4-dioxane in household cleaning and personal care products will be effective Dec. 31, 2023.

DEC has held meetings to gather stakeholder input and is currently in the process of drafting a rule to implement the law limiting 1,4-dioxane in household cleansing, personal care and cosmetic products. DEC will provide an opportunity for public comment once the draft regulation is released. Additional information is available on the DEC website.

PFAS in Food Packaging Materials

DEC is implementing a prohibition on intentionally added PFAS in food packaging. The law applies to paper-based food packaging (made from paper, paperboard or other plant-derived materials) intended for direct food contact. Products of this type containing intentionally added PFAS cannot be sold in New York state after Dec. 31, 2022. The restriction of PFAS in food packaging was enacted under the Hazardous Packaging Act. Additional information on the prohibition of PFAS in food packaging is available on the DEC website.

Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products (TCCP)

Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, DEC will implement restrictions on the sale of children's products containing intentionally added benzene, asbestos, or tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate in New York state. Also of note, the TCCP law will require the disclosure of certain chemicals of concern and high-priority chemicals if present in children’s products. DEC is currently working to develop lists of these chemicals.

Children’s products are defined as products marketed to children 12 and under. The products include such items as clothing; non-electronic toys; car seats; children’s bedding and mattresses; school supplies; products intended by the manufacturer to help children with sleeping, teething or eating; furniture; and apparel. The law excludes certain items such as electronic products, batteries, sports equipment and science kits.

DEC is in the process of developing a regulation to implement portions of the law. The rule will address the specific product categories that are covered, which chemicals and supporting information must be disclosed, details on how to obtain a waiver from reporting or the sales prohibition, and the fees associated with reporting and applying for a waiver. For more information, go to the DEC website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/108831.html and https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/water_pdf/emergingcontaminants.pdf.

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