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The Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017: California’s newest warning requirements

Gary Wexler February 22, 2018

In the fall of last year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 (the "CPRTKA"), adding provisions to the California Health and Safety Code commencing at § 108950 related to consumer safety, and to the California Labor Code at § 6398.5 related to worker safety.

The CPRTKA requires a manufacturer of a "designated product" sold in California to disclose on the product label—and post on the product's web site—a list of all intentionally added ingredients contained in any product included on a "designated list," and a list of all fragrance allergens included on specified regulations when present in the product at a concentration at or above 0.01 percent (100 ppm).

The CPRTKA requires employers to maintain a safety data sheet, and to ensure that those safety data sheets are available to an employee pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board. If any of the designated products are used in the workplace, the employer must make available certain information included in the online disclosures related to the chemicals in those designated products.

Although the title of the Act references "cleaning products," it specifically addresses fragrance ingredients. In addition, the law’s definition of "designated product" applies to a much broader list of products, including air care products, automotive products, general cleaning products, and floor polish or floor maintenance products used primarily for janitorial, domestic, or institutional cleaning purposes. The CPRTKA also specifically identifies products not subject to the Act.

To protect confidential business information, the CPRTKA does not require a manufacturer to disclose how a product is manufactured or the weight or amount of an intentionally added ingredient, including a fragrance ingredient, or a nonfunctional constituent. Manufacturers are also not required to list ingredients or nonfunctional constituents in any particular order if they are present in a designated product at a concentration of less than one percent.

A designated product shall not be sold in California unless the designated product and the manufacturer of the designated product comply with the Act.

The online disclosure requirements apply to a designated product sold in California on or after January 1, 2020. The product label disclosure requirements apply to a designated product sold in California on or after January 1, 2021.

The CPRTKA makes California the first state to require ingredient labels and online disclosures for cleaning products used by consumers and workers. There is no federal equivalent.

Notably, the CPRTKA references disclosures required under both Proposition 65 regarding consumer safety, as well as the Hazardous Substance Information and Training Act related to employee safety. The Act finds that chemicals found in cleaning products have been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, asthma and other serious health defects. (Note: This article does not discuss or take a position on the propriety, or lack thereof, of the CPRTKA’s regulatory standards for chemicals; it simply reports on the new product requirements added in the Act.)

Gary Wexler is a partner in the firm's litigation department who represents clients in a broad range of business and corporate matters, including Prop 65.