House committee hears update on chemicals in products

Oct 1, 2020
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Written by Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs
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A House committee held a virtual hearing this week to learn more about flame retardants, PCB’s and like chemical substances found in common household products.

The Department of Ecology is looking for possible safer alternatives to be used in products ranging from fragrances and perfumes to laundry detergent, electronic equipment, printing inks and paint, mattress covers, vinyl flooring, carpets and rugs, food and drink containers, recreational foam products and cash register receipts.

Ecology expects to finalize rules on the permitted use of such chemicals by May of 2023. Washington Retail is monitoring the study because many members sell the products being reviewed.

Ecology gained the authority to restrict the use of individual chemicals by rule, not by statute with additional oversight, due to the 2019 passage of a controversial Senate Bill 5135. The legislation also allows Ecology to require manufacturers and others to provide information regarding chemicals used in products for sale.

Please contact me at 360-943-0667 or mjohnson@washingtonretail.org to obtain a copy of the bill.