Washington Advances The Western Front Of Product Regulation


The state of Washington has become a global player in product regulation. This month, the Department of Ecology issued a determination to restrict or require reporting on the use of five classes of chemicals in products. In some cases, the restrictions may be first-in-class – depending on how Ecology implements the determination – meaning that manufacturers may need to alter their product compositions to continue selling in Washington. Ecology must finalize the determination in a rulemaking by June 1, 2023.

On August 9, 2022, Ecology published a preliminary draft rule to implement the restrictions and reporting requirements Ecology identified in its final determination. Ecology has invited comments on a range of topics, including environmental justice, de minimis thresholds, and effective dates for material restrictions. Ecology is accepting comments on the draft rule until August 23, 2022, with another opportunity for comment after Ecology publishes the formal draft rule in December 2022.


In 2019, Washington enacted the strongest state chemicals bill in the country. On five-year cycles, Ecology is empowered to take regulatory action to reduce the use of priority chemicals in priority products and packaging. These regulatory actions may include restricting or prohibiting certain uses of priority chemicals, or requiring that manufacturers disclose certain uses of priority chemicals to Ecology. In deciding whether to restrict priority chemicals, Ecology must consider existing uses of a chemical, potential exposures (including exposures to the environment, sensitive species, and subpopulations), and the availability of safer alternatives.

Ecology’s recent determination is part of the first “cycle” of restrictions. A new cycle will begin next year, and off-cycle restrictions may also be on the way.

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Mondaq, 17-08-22
; https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/chemicals/1222486/washington-advances-the-western-front-of-product-regulation