After multiple proposals and nearly four years of public consultation, California recently reproposed its groundbreaking "green chemistry" regulations. Referred to as the "Safer Consumer Products" regulations, this program will ultimately require manufacturers to eliminate particular "Chemicals of Concern" from an array of consumer products. These rules will affect consumer products - large and small, complex and simple - offered for sale in California, regardless of where manufactured. Given the size of the California market, this regulation likely will lead to de facto consumer product standards across the United States. Complicating matters, a variety of other green chemistry requirements have been enacted or proposed in other states, and at the federal and international levels, with little coordination. Accordingly, consumer product manufacturers, importers, and retailers everywhere should take notice and plan for the final adoption of the California regulations, integrate those plans with requirements in other jurisdictions, and consider incorporating green chemistry practices into product development and sustainability efforts.
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