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States Consider Over 60 Bills Regulating Chemicals in 2016

Although legislation to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is under near-final consideration, states continue to consider restrictions on chemicals.  In the absence of TSCA reform, over 20 states are considering 60 different bills that would regulate the manufacture and sale of chemicals or restrict their use in products.  Some bills would establish broad regulatory authority to regulate chemicals in products – akin to California’s Safer Consumer Products regulations – whereas others would target specific chemicals of concern or narrow product types.  Almost half of the state proposals would regulate the use of chemicals in children’s products.  Other areas of legislative activity include limitations on the use of flame retardants, mercury, and bisphenol A, or a focus on personal care products, cosmetics, and cleaning products.  The bills range from notification or labeling requirements to blanket prohibitions on certain chemicals in defined products.  This chart provides details regarding active state bills in the 2016 legislative cycle.

In particular, state legislation targeting flame retardants is heating up. Eleven U.S. states are considering bills seeking to curb the use of flame retardants in products ranging from upholstered furniture to children’s products. Additionally, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law on March 17, 2016, a bill that will restrict the use of listed flame retardants in most consumer products by January 1, 2019. Most of the other bills addressing flame retardants are narrower in scope, but would still impact a broad array of products. In addition to material restrictions, many of the bills also contain provisions barring manufacturers from replacing restricted flame retardants with other hazardous chemicals classified as carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxicants, or endocrine disruptors, among other hazard traits.  If the bills are enacted, these jurisdictions would join the growing number of states that have adopted similar restrictions on flame retardants over the past few years.       

© 2020 Beveridge & Diamond PC


About this Author

Mark Duvali, Environmental Attorney, Beveridge Diamond PC

Mark Duvall has over two decades of experience working in-house at large chemical companies.  His focus at Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. has been on product regulation at the federal, state, and international levels across a wide range of programs, and occupational safety and health.  He co-chairs the Firm's Chemicals, Products, and Nanotechnology practice group. 

He heads the Firm’s Toxic and Harmful Substances/Toxic Substances Control Act practice.  His experience under TSCA includes enforcement actions, counseling, rulemaking, advocacy, and legislative actions.  He chairs the...

Ryan J. Carra, Environmental Attorney, Beveridge & Diamond Law Firm

Ryan Carra utilizes his extensive technical background to assist in counseling clients in the electronics, chemicals, and energy sectors regarding a variety of environmental regulatory issues.  Ryan has advised on questions relating to waste classification, chemical hazard classification, chemical notification requirements, and requirements relating to radiation-emitting equipment both domestically and abroad.  Specifically, Ryan is well versed in international agreements relating to materials restrictions and waste, such as the Basel and Minamata Conventions.

Ryan has reviewed marketing materials and drafted internal guidance documents for a large electronics company seeking to ensure compliance with environmental marketing enforcement guidance around the globe, including the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides.  He has also counseled clients on Clean Air Act enforcement matters and has worked closely with regulators to draft environmental covenants containing complex land use restrictions.

Timothy M. Serie, Beveridge Diamond, Chemical Product Litigation Lawyer, Compliance Counseling Attorney

Tim Serie focuses his practice on chemical, product, and environmental regulatory matters and litigation.  Prior to joining Beveridge & Diamond, Tim served for four years as counsel at the American Coatings Association (ACA). Highlights of his career with ACA include:

  • Regulatory Advocacy. Representing the paint and coatings industry in the administrative rulemaking process and with respect to agency actions such as: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) Definition of Solid Waste rule, the South Coast Air...

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