HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES – NORTH AMERICA V. REACH


We recently received a question regarding this and thought it would interest you too:

Is there any similar initiative or law in North America that can be compared to REACH?

Our textile engineer Andreas Roth explains (and you might need to be a bit extra concentrated now) that the US industry still prefers a risk-based approach where additional data is only gathered for prioritized chemicals. This compared to the “no data - no market” approach of REACH. Democratic congressmen have made repeated attempts to reform the old and inadequate US Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA 1976). While in favor of some kind of TSCA reform, the chemicals industry had opposed every proposed bill as going too far.

Anyway, there was an introduction of a bipartisan bill proposing the so-called Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA). This CSIA requires the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to screen all active chemicals in commerce and to label them as either high or low priority based on potential risk. In some aspects, the CSIA and REACH appear similar.

Both CSIA and REACH include a comparable range of possible restrictions after evaluation against a standard of ‘no unreasonable’ (CSIA) or ‘no unacceptable’ (REACH) risk, balancing risks and benefits. In many regards however, TSCA roots of the new bill and major differences versus REACH are evident. The CSIA never transfers the burden of proof to producers. Most importantly, it contains no minimum data requirements for all chemicals above a volume threshold.

Besides the CSIA, there are also individual regulations in some states:

CPSIA U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (“CPSIA 2008”) rules that all consumer products shipped to the USA and which are intended to be sold in the USA shall be strictly compliant with all relevant U.S. laws, rules, standards and bans with the scope of consumer safety. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has released this Act, and is relevant for products sold in the USA.

The new legislation is of high relevance for all retailer/brand products. The most relevant law to be adhered to in this context is the U.S. Standard for Flammability of Clothing Textiles 16 CFR Part 1610 (Flammable Fabrics Act “FFA”). The standard establishes requirements for the flammability of clothing and textiles intended to be used in clothing. It applies to fabrics and finished garments. The background of these regulations is to reduce the use and impact of harmful substances in the apparel and footwear supply chain.

The main requirement is to have a Certificate of Compliance document for all relevant products and if required an additional 3rd Party Test Report, before shipping the products to the USA. All textile fabrics and textile trimmings are included, with the exceptions: hats, gloves, footwear, real fur, interlining and padding. These exceptions do not need a CoC.

The Washington State Children’s Safe Products Act (CSPA)
Manufacturers are required to report when products for children under 12 years of age contain one or more chemicals of concern (CHCC) that are identified by the law. In order to meet the requirements of this law vendors are required to:

  • Understand the most current list of chemicals of concern to children (CHCC) (https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/publications/wac173334.pdf)

  • Have systems in place which monitors, tracks and controls all substances in products

  • Report any CHCC that is added intentionally to products above the below listed PQL into the Secure Access Washington (SAW) database (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/cspa/reporting.html) by the deadlines specified by the law

  • For any unintentionally added CHCC either:
    - Report unintentionally added substances that are present in materials of products above a 100 ppm level into the secure access washington database by the deadlines specific by the law
    - Implement and maintain a manufacturing control program and take steps to ensure that the program effectively minimizes unintentionally added substances in products.

California Proposition 65 requirements
Proposition 65 (also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986) requires the State of California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. California Proposition 65 comes with a labeling requirements based on the consumer exposure to the chemical and not on the concentration in the product.

To comply with the law, manufacturers must either ensure that consumer exposure to regulated chemicals in their products do not exceed the established safe harbor levels or label their products. Proposition 65 requires a warning label for all products sold in the state of California containing chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment.

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) administers the Proposition 65 program. OEHHA, which is part of the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA), also evaluates all currently available scientific information on substances considered for placement on the Proposition 65 list.

Banish monsters of hazardous chemicals creeping into your products and supply chain. When you need more assurance than a lucky black cat, our RSLplus service is simple to use and puts you back in control of the chemical supply chain monsters the whole year. For more information contact your local representative at support@natific.com.

Happy Halloween from team natific!

Ps. Read this article to learn what many companies aren't aware of when it comes to handling hazardous substances. You will also get the formula how to handle risky and banned chemicals in your supply chain.



                    
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