The Washington State Department of Health and the Washington State Department of Ecology are asking residents, businesses, organizations and other stakeholders for their input about keeping communities and the environment safer from toxic chemicals in consumer products.
Public feedback on the actions it supports to reduce harmful chemicals in those products will be used to help shape regulations and restrictions.
The two departments are working to implement a new law designed to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in products by restricting or eliminating their use when safer alternatives are available. The program that implements the law is called Safer Products for Washington. It includes a regulatory process designed to keep harmful chemicals out of homes, workplaces, schools and the environment.
“Many everyday products have toxic chemicals,” the Department of Health notes. “The Safer Products for Washington program works to protect people and (the) environment from these harmful chemicals.”
The survey is taking place during a public comment period open until Jan. 28 in which all interested parties are invited to review a draft report on regulatory determinations. The draft report outlines potential regulatory actions and provides the results of research that supports those actions. A final version of the report will be submitted to the Washington State Legislature by June 2022.
Potential regulatory actions being considered are based on the availability of safer alternatives, and the potential for those products to expose people and the environment to priority toxic chemicals. As part of the rulemaking process, the Department of Ecology is collaborating with stakeholders and the public on the specific details related to the draft’s regulatory determinations that include restrictions and reporting requirements.
As an alternative to reviewing the entire report, the Ecology Department also created a story map visual guide that provides some essential information about toxic chemicals in consumer products. Participants are invited to look through the brief visual guide and then answer four questions about potential regulatory actions and restrictions on harmful chemicals present in common products.