The California Assembly passed SB 258, the landmark Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017, authored by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). For the first time ever, cleaning products sold in the state of California will be required to list ingredients on product labels and provide additional ingredient information on product websites. The carefully crafted compromise that was voted on today was developed through intense NGO-industry stakeholder negotiations and has generated an unprecedented coalition of support made up of over 100 organizations and corporations ranging from breast cancer prevention and clean water advocates to janitors and domestic workers to some of the world’s largest multinational cleaning product companies.
After nearly six months of meetings, a multi-stakeholder working group convened by Sen. Lara agreed on a compromise bill that successfully balances consumer and worker demands for more ingredient information with complex implementation issues, including the need to protect certain proprietary and confidential business information.
“California will be the first in the nation to clear the air for consumers and workers about what is in their cleaning products. Consumers are demanding transparency and the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act will set a strong national standard. Consumer advocates and manufacturers worked together to disclose potentially harmful ingredients while allowing businesses to protect proprietary information and retain some flexibility,” said Sen. Lara.
The bill cosponsors – Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Environmental Working Group, Women’s Voices of the Earth, and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) – and the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) all strongly support SB 258 and will be urging Governor Jerry Brown to sign this historic measure into law.
“CSPA and its member companies have actively worked with other key stakeholders to achieve the mutual goal of providing meaningful and understandable information to consumers and workers while also protecting significant financial investments in product innovation,” said Steve Caldeira, president and CEO of the Consumer Specialty Products Association. “This bill represents many hours of productive dialogue resulting in an ingredient communication proposal that can potentially serve as a national model for other states and major retailers.”
According to Bill Allayaud, California Director of Government Affairs for the Environmental Working Group, “Having sat through many long but unsuccessful past stakeholder processes, it was very rewarding to have our two sides come together on the intricate details to craft a new law that will help protect the health of consumer and workers yet be workable for business. We broke new ground while honoring pragmatic concerns.”
Consumer products subject to SB 258 are regulated through the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) administered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Institutional products subject to SB 258 are regulated by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication System. OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard requires a common approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets available to employees and employers using products in settings like hospitals. Information for employees on how to use and store products and important first aid measures is included. However, federal or state laws do not currently require the disclosure of most ingredients in cleaning products.