The state of Vermont has scheduled a public hearing on a proposal to revise its reporting rule for children’s products. Comments are to be accepted until February 8, 2019.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 018/19

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In June 2014, the US state of Vermont signed into law S.238 (Act 188 codified as V.S.A. Title 18: Chapter 38A ‘Chemicals of High Concern to Children’) (the ‘Act’) requiring a manufacturer of a children’s product or a trade association representing a manufacturer of children’s products to report the presence of chemicals of high concern to children (CHCCs) to the Department of Health (DOH) (Safeguard 121/14 [1]). That piece of legislation also directs the DOH to publish ‘Rules’ for implementing the Act.

According to the Act, reporting is required if the CHCC is in an accessible component of a children’s product, and is:

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

The Act, as amended, includes provisions relating to, among other things, establishing a list of CHCCs and their PQLs [2], and reporting requirements as well as guidelines [3] to assist the children’s products industry for compliance. The initial list of 66 CHCCs in Vermont is identical to the Washington list of 66 CHCCs as amended in 2013 (Washington delisted 1-butanol (CAS 71-36-3) and added tris-(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TCPP, CAS 13674-84-5) to its initial list of 66 CHCCs) (Safeguard 201/13 [4] ).

In accordance with the Act, the DOH is required to review the list of CHCCs every two years from July 2017 and a minimum of two CHCCs must be submitted for assessment.

The Vermont DOH has scheduled a hearing [5] for its proposal to amend the ‘Chemicals of High Concern in Children’s Products Rule [6]’. This proposal contains, inter alia, several important changes:

  • Expanding the number of CHCCs from 66 to 86. Except for lead, the other 19 newly proposed chemicals are identical to 19 of the 20 chemicals newly adopted by Washington’s Department of Ecology (DOE) in September 2017. At that time, Washington adopted chlorinated paraffins (CAS 108171-26-2) as a separate entry from short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs, CAS 85535-84-8)  (Safeguard 157/17 [7]), whereas Vermont has treated these two chemicals as one entry in its proposal
  • Using Universal Product Code (UPC) and Description for disclosure of information in children’s products
  • Clarifying reporting years and periods. The next submission is due August 31, 2020 for products sold between September 1, 2018 and August 31, 2020, and biennially thereafter (Safeguard 122/160 [8])
  • Authorizing the Commissioner that they may add or remove chemicals to the list of CHCCs by rule
  • Authorizing the Commissioner that they may regulate the sale or distribution of a children’s product containing a CHCC by rule

Highlights of the proposal from Vermont and a comparison with reporting rules for children’s products in Oregon and Washington are summarized in Table 1.

Oregon Vermont* Washington
Citation ORS 431A.250 to 431A.280 ‘Toxic-Free Kids Act’ 18 V.S.A Chapter 38A § 1772 ‘Chemicals of High Concern to Children’ RCW Chapter 70.240
‘Children’s Safe Products’
Scope Children’s Products Children’s Products Children’s Products
Components/materials to be reported All Accessible Accessible
Chemicals to be reported High priority chemicals of concern for children’s health (HPCCCHs) Chemicals of high concern to children (CHCCs) Chemicals of high concern to children (CHCCs)
Number of chemicals on the list 68 66
(20 chemicals are proposed to be added)
* Public hearing on February 1, 2019 on proposal to revise reporting rule. Comments from the general public are accepted until February 8, 2019

Table 1.

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