In 2008, California lawmakers passed two bipartisan measures that sought to create a new, science-based framework for regulating chemicals in consumer products. The Safer Consumer Products Initiative, authorized by AB 1879 (Feuer; D-Los Angeles; Chapter 559) and SB 509 (Simitian; D-Palo Alto; Chapter 560), was the product of a collaborative effort by legislators, the Schwarzenegger administration, and stakeholders to give the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) the authority to regulate
potentially hazardous substances in consumer products.

The primary purpose of the consumer products initiative was to eliminate the adoption of piecemeal legislation regulating one chemical at a time, in favor of one comprehensive regulatory framework based on scientific judgment. After 11 iterations, DTSC finalized the consumer products regulations in October 2013.

Safer Consumer Products Regulation

Related Issue Articles:
Food Labeling
Proposition 65


Proposition 65 Warning Regulations Synopsis

(Adopted 8/30/2016)

BPA Emergency Warning Regulation

(Adopted 5/11/2016; In Effect Until 12/31/2017)

Proposition 65: Pre-Regulatory Draft Regulations

Comments on Warning Regulation Discussion Draft​ (10/10/2014)

Coalition Letter to Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)​ (6/12/2014)

Consumer Products Draft Regulations (Green Chemistry)

Letter to Department of Toxic Substances Control (2/28/2013)

Major Victories

Stopped bills in 2016 leading to increased environmental litigation (AB 2748) and frivolous litigation about alleged gender-based pricing of goods (SB 899).

Led coalition in 2016 that stopped a bill that would have stifled innovation and imposed unnecessary burdens on businesses by requiring manufacturers of specific consumer products to disclose ingredients on product labels and the internet without protecting confidential business information (AB 708).

Halted expensive unnecessary regulatory burdens, such as an expanded waste bureaucracy in 2010 (AB 479, AB 737) and a 2012 vote rejecting a ban on the use of polystyrene foam food containers (SB 568); and in 2013 an expansion of reasons to sue under the California Environmental Quality Act (SB 617, SB 754).


The CalChamber supports the underlying goal of the consumer products initiative to significantly reduce adverse impact to human health and the environment. Further, with respect to the nature of the alternatives analysis process, the CalChamber supports the creation of an alternatives analysis guidance document that clearly defines the process step-by-step, sets reasonable parameters with respect to cost and compliance, and provides certainty and predictability.

As this process moves forward, the CalChamber believes that a proactive dialogue with product manufacturers will allow the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) the opportunity to better understand what chemicals are being used, for what purpose they are being used, in what quantity they are being used, and whether any potential alternatives have been evaluated already. In some cases, alternatives that have been identified are in fact a greater concern and would fall into the category of “regrettable substitutions,” a situation DTSC has repeatedly stated it seeks to avoid. Accordingly, DTSC should consider the regulated community a knowledgeable and indispensable resource.

Recent News

Product Regulation Bills