The legislation in question (S. 4389B/A. 6295A) is aimed at banning a manufacturing byproduct to help improve water quality on Long Island.
“Unfortunately, this bill will have no measurable impact on groundwater and it will not have the intended effect for Long Island’s residents,” according to Steve Caldeira, president & CEO, Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA), and Melissa Hockstad, president & CEO, American Cleaning Institute (ACI).
“The chemical in question is 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of the manufacturing process that can be found in minuscule amounts in some laundry and dish detergents. These are familiar and trusted brands that have been used for generations by millions of families on Long Island, in New York state and across the U.S.
“The level of 1,4-dioxane in products is already so low that being forced to lower it further is in some cases not feasible. In effect, this bill could ban these types of common household products in New York State.
“Every day cleaning products are essential in helping to prevent the spread of disease and bacteria in our homes, hospitals, schools, restaurants, hotels and government offices. If this bill is signed into law, many of these products that are critical to public health could be pulled off store shelves. Prices for laundry and dish detergent could dramatically increase. Consumers and workers would feel the pain in their pocketbooks, and there could be negative economic consequences for the state and potentially the entire U.S. in terms of lost jobs.
“We truly recognize the severity of the problem that Long Island residents face. The cost to treat contamination spreading from former industrial and military facilities—Long Island's largest groundwater pollution source—will be upwards of $585 million. However, cleaning products didn’t cause this pollution and only water treatment plants can clear it up.
“Our industry prides itself on working in a bipartisan manner with legislators, NGOs and regulatory agencies at all levels of government to find responsible solutions. A recent example of this successful approach was in California, where the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 was signed into law by then-Governor Jerry Brown as a direct result of industry working in good faith with NGOs.
“As the representatives of the collective household and commercial cleaning product supply chain, we respectfully urge Governor Cuomo to veto this legislation and work collaboratively with us toward a responsible, common-sense solution.”