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November 19, 2010

California Removes Nano References in the Revised Safer Consumer Product Alternatives Regulations

Lynn L. Bergeson

On November 16, 2010, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (CDTSC) released revisions to its safer consumer product alternatives regulations for a 15-day comment period. Of particular note, CDTSC has removed all references to nanotechnology and nanomaterials in the proposed regulations, which previously defined nanomaterials and included “physical, chemical, or quantum properties specific to nanomaterials” on the list of prioritization factors that CDTSC would consider in placing chemicals on the list of Chemicals Under Consideration. The revised proposed regulations also no longer exclude nanomaterials from the de minimis exemption. Under the Green Chemistry Program, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) will specify the hazard traits, environmental and toxicological end-points, and other relevant data to include in the state’s Toxics Information Clearinghouse. CDTSC will use information from the clearinghouse to help identify chemicals of concern in consumer products. OEHHA’s pre-regulatory draft regulation includes reference to nanoparticles and defines a “nanomaterial hazard trait.” Comments on CDTSC’s revised proposed regulations are due December 3, 2010.