Welcome to the Department of Toxic Substances Control

Strengthening Consumer Protection Laws

  Welcome to the CalEPA Workshops on

  Strengthening Consumer Protection Laws
April 25 and May 8, 2008

(Part of the California Green Chemistry Initiative-Key Elements Phase)

  What Should Be Done? Tell Us.

You only need to scan news headlines to see why Green Chemistry is so important.

California, like the rest of the country, learned all too well last year about the disturbing presence of toxic chemicals - from lead to phthalates - in children’s items and other consumer goods. Lead has been shown to impair intellectual development in youngsters, and phthalates are known to cause cancer in animals.

And yet these are toxins being found in products on store shelves, not just in landfills.

Beginning in early March, representatives from the California Environmental Protection Agency, in conjunction with other state agencies with regulatory authority over consumer products, have been discussing how to make California’s consumer protection laws more effective.

Now, as part of California Governor Arnold  Schwarzenegger’s Green Chemistry Initiative that  would strive for smarter design, manufacture and packaging of products with less or no toxic material, CalEPA is inviting the public to talk about improving consumer protection laws.

Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in this topical and important discussion. Two workshops were held; please see below for the dates and locations of the workshops.

We Need Important Input from you:

Your input is important to the Green Chemistry Initiative’s Strengthening Consumer Protection effort. To include your suggestions on how to Strengthen Consumer Protection, please answer these questions by May 16, 2008.

1) How big should the regulated universe be?

• All consumer products or only those that contain chemicals of concern?

2) What attributes would make the current system more effective?Please provide your perspective on:

• Increased consumer awareness of existing laws?
• Enhanced enforcement authority?
• Improved coordination among existing consumer protection agencies?

3) If we were to develop a new regulatory model, what would it consist of?

• How to target Education and Outreach for:

- Consumer?
- Industry?

• What kind of Enforcement Tools?
• Should the Framework be flexible to add additional…

- Products?
- Standards for hazardous products in commerce?
- Specific regulatory thresholds for each product?
- Have a single consumer product compliance and enforcement agency?

Please email your responses to green.chemistry@dtsc.ca.gov and title your subject line “Consumer Protection.”

View Responses

Friday, April 25, 2008*

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Coastal Hearing Room
California Environmental Agency Building
1001 I Street, Sacramento
Media Advisory

Workshop Input

Thursday, May 8, 2008

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
El Segundo Public Library
111 W. Mariposa Avenue
El Segundo
Media Advisory

Workshop Input

PowerPoint Presentation

Questions? Call 916-449-5321 or 322-7650.

Green Chemistry Initiative Process

Now - May 23, 2008: Workshops being held and website opened soliciting public participation on Key Elements of the Green Chemistry Initiative. One Key Element is “Strengthening Consumer Protection Laws”.

May 27 - July 1, 2008: Preliminary Phase Two Green Chemistry Initiative report to be prepared and presented to CalEPA Secretary Linda S. Adams.

Late summer: Final Phase Two Green Chemistry Initiative report to be delivered to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with recommendations for future policy decisions.


How The Green Chemistry Initiative Has Progressed

Spring 2007: California becomes the first state in the nation to announce Green Chemistry Initiative.

June - December 2007: Brainstorming sessions held around the state, and Green Chemistry website opened for Phase One public comments and suggestions.

December 2007 - January 2008: Comments and suggestions compiled, reviewed and organized by topic area.

January 31, 2008: Phase One Green Chemistry Report released and Key Elements outlined.

Participants at a California Green Chemistry Initiative workshop.

Participants at a Green Chemistry Initiative workshop in March came together to discuss and share ideas about how to address barriers to change.

Toxics in Consumer Products
In The News

DTSC investigation reveals lead in children’s jewelry

Chemicals in home cleaners under scrutiny

California law affects body piercings

Group targets phthalates

Half million pieces of jewelry recalled

Alarm about toy magnets

Toughest toy law in U.S. signed

Lead found in jewelry

$1 million fine assessed for lead in jewelry charm

Lead exposure over years may affect aging

High lead levels found in baby products

Recalls from the U.S. CPSC

U.S. EPA on lead in children’s products

Formaldehyde cited in pajamas

Aqua Dots toy recalled

What Other States
Are Considering:


New Jersey







California Laws
Relating To Consumer Protection

Lead in jewelry

Toxics in packaging

Electronic devices

Ozone-generating air purifiers


Bracelet recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

This bracelet was one of 500,000 children’s jewelry items recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission just before Thanksgiving last year because of their lead content.

  The “Strengthening Consumer Protection Laws” Key Element group includes:

CalEPA, including its Department of Toxic Substances Control, Air Resources Board and Department of Pesticide Regulation

California Department of Public Health

San Francisco City Government

Copyright © 2007 State of California