California Considers Regulating Food Packaging Under Green Chemistry Initiative

As part of its Green Chemistry Initiative and the Safer Consumer Products (SCP) implementing regulations, California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has released its Draft Three Year Priority Product Work Plan (2018-2020).  The Plan indicates that for the first time it will “address exposures from harmful chemicals that migrate from consumer products into food.”

DTSC selected a total of seven product categories to include in the Plan. Five categories have been carried over from the 2015-2017 Plan: Beauty, personal care, and hygiene products, Cleaning products, Household, school, and workplace furnishings and décor, Building products and materials used in construction and renovation, Consumable office, school, and business supplies.

DTSC has also added two additional categories – food packaging and lead-acid batteries. Clothing products and fishing and angling equipment, two of the product categories from the prior Plan, will not be evaluated under this Plan.

The Plan states that food packaging has been included as a product category due to concerns regarding exposure to Candidate Chemicals, known to be harmful to people or the environment. It identifies as Candidate Chemicals in food contact materials (1) Bisphenol A and Bisphenol S as a “constituent in plastic resin lining food and beverage cans,” (2) perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances that “create grease-proof and water-proof coatings for food packaging,” (3) phthalates as plasticizers, and (4) styrene  as a “constituent of polistyrene and rubber products.”



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