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WASHINGTON (July 8, 2020) – The American Chemistry Council released the below statement regarding publication of the Priority Consumer Products Report to the Legislature from the state’s Department of Ecology. This quote can be attributed to the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

“ACC and our members are committed to the responsible production and use of our important products. The business of chemistry plays a vital role in Washington State’s economy. The chemistries outlined in this preliminary report are important to our everyday lives, from helping keep us in touch with our families and friends to increasing our nation’s energy efficiency, to playing a key role keeping us healthy and safe, including in the fight against COVID-19.

In its recently released report to the Legislature, the Department of Ecology has identified a list of chemistries and product categories for further evaluation under the Safer Products for Washington program. ACC is committed to working with the Department and all stakeholders to ensure that the best available science is used when evaluating these chemistries in the identified consumer product applications and more broadly. As the Department has stated, the priority product identification is not a regulatory decision nor a complete risk assessment, and the Department expects to further refine the scope of the product categories. More research is needed to determine whether any regulatory action is even necessary.

Although the report recognizes that ‘not all chemicals in a class serve the same function in products,’ we continue to see an alarming trend to assess, regulate, or even ban entire, diverse classes of chemistries as though each chemical is the same. Each of these families of chemistry includes many different individual compounds that may all have their own unique properties and uses, as well as environmental and health profiles. This one-size-fits-all approach to chemical regulation is neither scientifically accurate, nor appropriate.

Unfortunately, grouping chemistries together from a functional standpoint could lead to future regulatory responses that may unnecessarily impact broad product families that businesses and consumers rely upon. We recognize the desire to more efficiently evaluate chemicals and support grouping of chemicals into categories or subcategories for initial screening in accordance with the guidance and procedures such as those put forward by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. ACC urges the Department to consider this approach to meet the program’s objectives based on a strong scientific foundation.

Further, ACC urges the Department ensure that important benefits and performance that these chemistries enable in the identified applications are considered in any future evaluation. Selection of specific substances used for specific products should be based on the right choice for a specific application that ensures chemical safety while also taking into account overall product design, performance, sustainability and safety.

We look forward to working with the Department of Ecology and all interested stakeholders during the next steps of this program.”

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