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The Impact of the California Cleaning Product Right to Know Act


The State of California is making great strides toward implementing “right to know” regulations on cleaning products.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed the SB-258 Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 in October 2017. His signature made California the first state in the nation to have a cleaning products disclosure law. This new law, set to go into effect soon, requires manufacturers to list known hazardous chemicals in home and commercial cleaning products on the product label and online.


What the California Cleaning Product Right to Know Act Requires

 The California Cleaning Product Right to Know Act covers a wide variety of consumer products. The law applies to air care products to eliminate odors or freshen air, for example. It requires labeling for general cleaning products, such as soaps, laundry and dish detergents, floor cleaners, bathroom and tile cleaners, and carpet cleaners.

The regulation covers automotive products for washing, cleaning, polishing, waxing, and treating the exterior or interior surfaces of vehicles; it does not cover automotive paint or paint repair products.

The law requires that the disclosure of fragrance allergens present at greater than 100 parts per million (ppm), or 0.01%. The law is a bit different for disinfectants – manufacturers must list ingredients on the product website, but are exempt from labeling provisions.

Many products are exempt, including:

  • Foods, drugs, and personal care items such as toothpaste, shampoo, hand soap and hand sanitizers
  • Industrial products made exclusively for use in oil and gas production, heavy industry manufacturing, steel production, industrial water treatment, industrial textile maintenance, and food and beverage processing and packaging
  • Trial samples not packaged for individual sale, retail or resale – these products must indicate that the product is not for sale or resale


Labels Must Disclose Intentionally Added Ingredients

 The law requires that the product label disclose each intentionally added ingredient, along with the ingredient’s Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number, included on specified chemical lists. These chemical lists include, but are not limited to:

Manufacturers may list all intentionally added ingredients contained in their products, unless it is confidential business information.

The law imposes additional administrative requirements, such as requiring that the label include the manufacturer’s toll-free telephone number and website address. Lawmakers define manufacturers as the entity that makes the product and whose name appears on the label, or the entity for which the product is manufactured or that distributes the product as identified on the product’s label. In other words, the distributor may bear responsibility for listing ingredient information on their website and on the product label.

California is implementing the law in phases. Manufacturers of cleaning products must begin listing ingredient information on their websites on January 1, 2020. The product label must disclose information about ingredients on or after January 1, 2021. Regulators may deem a product acceptable after the compliance date if the label or website lists a manufacture date or manufacture date code. Manufacturers have until January 1, 2023, to list intentionally added ingredients covered by Proposition 65, a California law that protects drinking water from toxic substances that cause cancer and birth defects.

Products that do not comply with the act cannot be sold in California. The state’s Unfair Competition Law allows for the filing of lawsuits seeing civil penalties of up to $2500 per violation.

To prove compliance, many companies turn to testing, inspection and certification laboratories. Eurofins Consumer Product Testing can assess a product’s need for testing, provide customized services and technology, and help companies impacted by the California Cleaning Product Right to Know Act.


BPA Use and What Regulators Are Doing About It

BPA (bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical that manufacturers have used since to make polycarbonate plastics and resins since the 1960s. Manufacturers use BPA to create soft plastics, dental sealants, and thermal cash-register receipts. They also use BPA in the epoxy-resin linings present in metal food cans; the epoxy creates a barrier between the metal and the food, but it can also leach into the food and enter the human body.

Once inside the body, BPA may be an endocrine disruptor, which means it mimics hormones made by the body and therefore could have unintended and potentially far-reaching effects on those who come into physical contact with the chemical. BPA can cause a variety of reproductive disorders, including affecting egg maturationearly pubertyinfertility, and erectile dysfunction. Exposure to BPA may also be associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, poor fetal brain development, breast and prostate cancer, and asthma. Infants and young children are particularly sensitive to the effects of BPA.

Human exposure to BPA is widespread, with most of the exposure coming from eating canned foods. In fact, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientists found BPA in the urine of nearly all of the participants who took part in the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) during 2003–2004. While finding a measurable amount of BPA in urine does not imply that the chemical may impart adverse health effects, it does indicate widespread exposure.


Regulation of BPA in the United States

Regulation of BPA is a patchwork of state and federal laws, many of which hinge on the amount of BPA in consumer products. The FDA maintains that the current levels of BPA in many products are below government standards and are therefore safe. Lawmakers and health professionals across the country disagree, and several states have now enacted laws and regulations to prohibit BPA in specific consumer products. Many of these laws focus on banning BPA in baby bottles and spill-proof cups, also known as “sippy cups,” because of the chemical’s potential for developmental harm in infants and small children.

States with laws restricting BPA in consumer products include:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • District of Columbia

Each state has different requirements. 

California prohibits the manufacture, sale, or distribution of bottles or cups containing detectable levels of BPA above 0.1 parts per billion for products intended for use by children three years of age or younger. It requires manufacturers to replace BPA with the least toxic alternative.

Connecticut bans BPA in reusable food or beverage containers that contain BPA, and prohibits BPA in infant formula or baby food. Delaware law prohibits the sale of cups or bottles containing BPA in containers designed for use by children under the age of four. Illinois bans BPA in thermal paperChicago became the nation’s first city to ban BPA in baby bottles in 2009.

Maine law establishes BPA as a priority chemical, a designation that requires manufacturers to report products containing BPA. Maryland legislation prohibits infant formula in containers that contain .5 parts per billion of BPA. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health banned children’s reusable food or beverage containing BPA.

In 2009, Minnesota became the first state to ban BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups. Minnesota now bans BPA in food containers intended for use by infants and children, and prohibits manufacturers from replacing BPA with chemicals that may cause cancer, reproductive/developmental toxicity, or other systemic toxicity.

Nevada bans BPA in bottles, sippy cups, and formula and kids’ food. New York is different from other states in that it also prohibits the sale of pacifiers with BPA. The state is also unique in that its law allows manufacturers to label products as BPA-free. In addition to banning BPA in baby bottles and spill-proof cups, Vermont bans the chemical in reusable food or beverage containers, including sports bottles and thermoses.

Washington State bans BPA in sports bottles and in bottles, cups, and other empty food and drink containers intended for children under the age of 3 years. Wisconsin requires retailers that sells or offers children’s containers label their products as BPA-free. District of Columbia prohibits BPA in any empty containers intended to hold any food or beverage for use by a child under the age of 4 years.

Testing and labeling can help manufacturers comply with state regulations. Adequate testing and clear labeling can also help manufacturers and retailers build brand confidence in consumers who are worried about the negative health effects of BPA.

As a leader in Consumer Product Testing, Eurofins keeps our customers up to date on the latest regulations to ensure compliance. To learn more about our services, contact us today.


EU Compliance for Food Packaging Regulations

Food packaging carries out several essential tasks, including protecting food against contamination or damage and providing consumers with important information about the package’s contents. Advanced food packaging materials are microwaveable, reducing browning or other signs of aging, extend shelf life, and can even monitor the condition of the food inside. Unfortunately, some packaging may not be suitable for food as they can transfer unhealthy or even dangerous substances to the consumer. Like other nations intending to protect consumers, the European Union (EU) has enacted regulations guiding the food packaging industry.

The EU broadly defines foods packaging materials under the umbrella term “food contact materials,” which also includes other materials or machinery, such as coffee machines or food processers, that may come into contact with food under normal conditions.

EU’s Framework Regulation

Companies that supply food contact materials and food packaging must comply with EU’s food contact regulations. Several regulations control food packaging in the EU, but two regulations stand out: Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 and Regulations (EC) No. 2023/2006 on GMP.

Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004

Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 requires materials that do not release harmful levels of their constituents into foods. The regulation requires materials that do not change the taste, odor or composition of food in an unacceptable way. It also requires that businesses involved in food packaging must establish a system that traces food contact materials (FCMs) at every step from production to distribution.

The regulation allows the EU to set specific measures pertaining to certain types of materials, such as plastics; following adoption of such measures, manufacturers using those materials must submit a written Declaration of Compliance (DoC). In the DoC, businesses must say that they comply with all applicable regulations, and provide supporting documentation and traceability through labeling and supply chain records.

The EU has already set several measures covering a number of materials. Companies using these materials for food packaging must file a DoC. These measures and materials include:


EU Member States may set their own national provisions for materials, such as coatings, adhesives, and paper, when the EU has not.

The regulation also requires labeling for materials and articles that are not yet in contact with food when introduced to the market. Labeling should bear the words “For food contact,” the glass/fork symbol, or other indication that the product meets guidelines for contact with food.

Regulation (EC) No. 2023/2006 on GMP

Ensuring that the food consumers receive is safe to eat is a complex undertaking – retailers must be confident that the food and food packaging supply line is compliant with safety regulations. Good manufacturing practice guidelines (GMP) are a quality assurance tool that assures retailers and consumers that their food’s packaging is safe. 

Regulation (EC) No. 2023/2006 on GMP says that manufacturers must create food contact materials (FCMs) in compliance with good manufacturing practice guidelines. The regulation ensures that the specifications for these materials conform to legislation. Specifically, the business’s premises must be fit for food packaging and staff must be knowledgeable about critical stages in production.

Companies must document quality assurance and quality control systems they maintain on the premises; documentation must provide traceable information to support compliance claims. Documentation must include information about material compositions Declarations of Conformity, test reports, and operative documents.

To prove compliance with EU’s food packaging regulations, many companies turn to testing, inspection and certification laboratories. Eurofins Consumer Product Testing can assess a product’s need for testing, provide customized services and technology, and help companies who use food packaging comply with EU’s regulation. Downloadable PDF.

How Regulation and Consumer Safety Concerns Will Impact the Rapidly Growing CBD Market

The laws on cannabis and cannabis products used to be clear – they were illegal to sell, possess or use. Today, however, cultural views toward cannabis and the laws governing its sale are changing. Many states are legalizing the medical and recreational use of marijuana, despite the fact that cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. Downloadable PDF.

How Increased FDA Involvement Could Impact the Cosmetics Industry

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has largely avoided strict regulation over the cosmetics industry for more than a century. Now, over rising health concerns over the safety and manufacturing practices of some cosmetics, the FDA is increasing its involvement in the industry. Downloadable PDF.

Responding to Consumer Sustainability Concerns with Reusable Packaging

Threatened by mounting trash, pollution and other environmental concerns, today’s consumers are increasingly interested in sustainability, particularly in the products they buy. Reusable packaging will likely play an important role in making products environmentally friendly and attractive to customers. Downloadable PDF.

Eurofins Microplastic in Drinkingwater study (MPDW)

There is a global market interest and concern regarding microplastics (MP) and their impacts in the environment. Eurofins, as one of the leading laboratories all over the world, together with the laboratory in Bergen, felt compelled to improve the nowadays knowledge by mapping microplastic levels in different countries. To achieve this purpose we needed a methodology that could quantify the content of microplastics and participants all over the world willing to send samples to our laboratory. Global Report