In 2019, Washington State passed precedent-setting legislation protecting people and the environment from toxic pollution. The Safer Products for Washington Act is now the nation’s strongest law regulating toxic chemicals in products, which are a major source of contamination in our homes, food, waterways and bodies. The new law will help:
- Stop the use of thousands of chemicals in millions of products by addressing chemicals as classes.
- Tackle high-priority chemicals first – PFAS, flame retardants, phthalates, alkyphenol ethoxylates, bisphenols and PCBs.
- Drive the demand for sustainable products that don’t pollute.
The law directs our state agencies to identify the products that are the biggest sources of exposure to high-priority chemicals, and provides authority to take action to reduce exposure. Agencies can ban or require disclosure of harmful chemicals in a wide range of products, from plastics and personal care products to electronics and building materials.
A growing body of science and Toxic-Free Future’s own research have documented that chemicals escape out of products into dust and air in our homes, travel through wastewater, and pollute homes, waters, the food supply and even us!
Costs of cleanup and health impacts due to these chemicals are significant for governments, taxpayers and businesses. Prioritizing prevention of pollution and disease makes the most sense.
Current Implementation Status:
- The Department of Ecology is working now to finalize the list of product categories for action. A draft report has been publicized and includes carpets and carpet treatments, vinyl flooring, fragrances, electronics, and detergents. Ecology is seeking comments on the draft report through March 2nd.
See here for more information on the Department of Ecology’s implementation timeline and process.