Ecology department seeking public feedback on toxic chemicals found in consumer products

Toxic chemicals in consumer products can escape into homes, workplaces and schools, and eventually make their way to the environment. (Image courtesy Washington State Department of Ecology)

The Washington State Department of Ecology recently announced new regulations on several classes of toxic chemicals in products consumers use every day — an important step because most consumer products are not required to be safety tested before going on the market.

Toxic chemicals in consumer products can escape into homes, workplaces and schools, and eventually make their way to the environment, the department says. That’s why the department has launched the Safer Products for Washington program, which works in five-year cycles. During each cycle, the department will:

  • Identify toxic chemicals the department is most concerned about.
  • Identify consumer products that are significant sources of these chemicals.
  • Determine if or how the department needs to regulate when these chemicals are used.
  • Adopt regulations to prevent pollution, reduce use of toxic chemicals and increase product ingredient transparency.

The department has identified the toxic chemicals it plans to study in the next cycle, and is now holding a public comment period to hear consumers’ thoughts and concerns. Here’s how it works:

  1. Check out our draft report on chemicals the department plans to prioritize. The report tells you more about the chemicals the department chose, how it chose them, and why they’re concerning.
  2. Need to know more? You can attend the June 21 webinar to learn more about the chemicals in the report and ask questions.
  3. Go to the report’s public comment webpage for instructions on how to send us your thoughts.

You can share your thoughts and concerns on anything in the report. Information that’s helpful to department includes:

  • Feedback on the report and the chemicals and chemical classes we identified.
  • Any chemicals to consider prioritizing instead of those listed in the draft report.
  • Your concerns about chemicals in products that you, your family or your community use.
  • Information about how you use and interact with the chemicals on our list.

The public comment period is open through July 14. After it closes, the department will consider all comments and may change the report based on those comments.

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