Oregon Issues Proposal to Phase Out Hazardous Chemicals in Selected Children’s Products

In June 2020, the US state of Oregon published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) that seeks to establish rules to help manufacturers comply with their regulatory requirements in relation to the phasing out of High Priority Chemicals of Concern for Children’s Health (HPCCCHs) in three categories of children’s product:
• Cosmetics
• Intended for children under the age of 3
• ‘Mouthable’

The list of HPCCCHs was established following the enactment of SB 478 ‘Toxic-Free Kids Act’ (the Act) in 2015. Established and maintained by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), the list contains HPCCCHs that are used in the manufacture of products for children under the age of 12. The Act also established rules governing what manufacturers must do to be compliant with the Act, contained in three phases.

The law defines children’s products as including:
• Car seats
• Childcare products to facilitate sucking, teething, sleep, relaxation, feeding or drinking
• Clothing and footwear
• Cosmetics
• Jewelry
• Toys

Reporting an HPCCCH is required if either of the following criteria is met:

• Intentionally added and is equal to or greater than the practical quantification limit (PQL)
• A contaminant that is equal to or greater than 100 ppm

However, in the three categories of toy covered by the NPR issued in June 2020, the requirement for the manufacturer was that by January 1, 2022 (the third biennial notice), they should either:
• Remove the HPCCCH, or
• Substitute the HPCCCH with a less hazardous alternative, or
• Obtain a waiver approved by the OHA

The NPR proposes the adoption of several new provisions in relation to the substitution, removal, or waiver procedures for children’s products falling under these three categories. These provisions include, inter alia, the following:
• ‘Removal of Substitution of High Priority Chemicals’:
o Procedures required by manufacturers who remove an HPCCCH from, or cease to manufacture, the above three categories of children’s products
o Procedures for manufacturers with no more than 25 employees who wish to apply for a two-year extension of the date in ORS 431A.260 to meet the requirements
• ‘Exemptions from Removal or Substitution Requirements’ – manufacturers may request for an exemption to remove or substitute an HPCCCH under ORS 431A.260 if they meet at least one of four conditions, including an HPCCCH meeting the limits under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA)
• ‘Requirements for Chemical Substitution and Hazard Assessment (HA) for substitute chemicals’ – requirements for HA for manufacturers who wish to substitute an HPCCCH with a less-hazardous chemical and procedures for considering the HA
• Application process and timelines for waivers from removal or substitution requirements – including a quantitative exposure assessment (QEA) demonstrating an HPCCCH is not reasonably anticipated to result in exposure to a child based on an analysis of the leaching and bioavailability of the HPCCCH
• Alternative Assessment (AA) – manufacturers must perform an AA to evaluate the possibility of replacing chemicals in products with a safer alternative. The AA must be carried out by starting with the HA, and the following assessments in any order – QEA, technical feasibility assessment and financial feasibility assessment

The NPR also seeks to revise the existing language in the Act. This includes creating consistency with chemical nomenclature for HPCCCHs with chemicals of high concern for children (CHCCs) under Washington State’s Children’s Safe Products Act (CSPA).

SGS Toy & Juvenile Product Services
SGS offers a wide range of services to ensure that products comply with relevant standards for juvenile products and childcare articles. They provide consulting, training, product development, testing, audit and inspection services to ensure that products comply with strict regulations worldwide, demonstrating the safety and quality of juvenile products being brought to the market. Learn more about SGS’s Toy & Juvenile Product Services. [www.sgs.com/en/consumer-goods-retail/toys-and-juvenile-products

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