New York Becomes First State to Require Cleaning Product Makers Disclose Ingredients and Hazards


Advocates Applaud DEC Action Based on 40-Year-Old Law.


Coupled with California Legislation Pending Governor Brown's Signature, New York and California Requirements Create Powerful New Model for Information about What's in Products.


(Albany, NY) Starting in January 2019, New York State will drive cleaning product makers to post full ingredient lists online, thanks to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's newly issued guidance for a law enacted in the 1970s. In addition to naming ingredients, companies will identify ingredients or products that are listed as chemicals of concern on a series of environmental and health hazards, including cancer, neurological problems, skin sensitizers, and asthma.  


This new direction on how companies must comply with the decades-old law was prompted by lawsuits filed by Earthjustice on behalf of public interest organizations nearly a decade ago. Companies avoided a court battle when they asked for, and the Department of Environmental Conservation agreed to provide, guidance on how information should be reported. It was a request from product makers that information be presented on their own websites rather than delivered to the DEC.


The rules include requirements for disclosing known contaminants in cleaning products, including 1,4-dioxane and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoro octanoic sulfate (PFOS), all now found in drinking water supplies in New York State. Plans to fully implement ingredient disclosure were announced by Governor Cuomo in his State of the State priorities for 2017.


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“We applaud the Governor’s leadership in establishing strong disclosure standards for the chemical ingredients found in household cleaning products. This critical step would not have been possible without the Department of Environmental Conservation’s tireless work and dedication to this important public health issue,” said Caitlin Ferrante, Chapter Coordinator for the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. “When it comes to protecting the public from harmful cleaning product ingredients, DEC apparently stands for Doing Everything Conceivable.”


Authority for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC’s) household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program derives from environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Article 35 and New York Code of Rules and regulations (NYCRR) Part 659, which requires that manufacturers of household cleaning products sold in New York State disclose information about their products. It was enacted to address phosphorous pollution.


"We are grateful to finally have New York State provide clarity for the consumer with a guide that discloses ingredients in cleaning products, a groundbreaking step towards protecting public health" said Laura Weinberg, President of the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition. "For example it's important to have the ingredient 'Fragrance' disclosed since artificial fragrances may contain 'phthalates' which have been linked with breast cancer."





LINK 1 to Statement

LINK 2to CHNY site document


About CHNY: We are key state and national players, fulfilling numerous leadership roles and providing crucial advocacy, education and research in service of chemical policy and market reform. CHNY represents, connects and taps into the power of otherwise isolated constituencies, such as scientists, nurses, lawyers, organized labor, health-affected people, teachers and businesses.



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