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In 2019, Washington State passed precedent-setting legislation, the Safer Products for Washington Act.

Protecting people and the environment from toxic pollution, this legislation is the nation’s strongest law regulating toxic chemicals in products—a major source of contamination in our homes, food, waterways, and bodies. 

Safer Products for Washington will help to:

  • 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, and bisphenols
  • Drive the demand for safe, sustainable products

The law directs Washington state agencies to identify the products that are significant sources of high-priority chemicals and provides authority to take action to reduce them. Washington’s Department of Ecology 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. It can also require companies to provide full ingredient information in products in order to make regulatory determinations under the law.

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.

Alternatives are rapidly coming onto the market to replace hazardous chemicals like PFAS.

The Washington state approach is an important model because it is not only resulting in bans on the worst chemicals, it defines what is safer using hazard-based tools such as GreenScreen and Chemforward. Governments, manufacturers and retailers should be aligning to this approach for all chemicals management.

Implementation Status

  • January 28, 2022 – Toxic-Free Future submitted comments to the Washington Department of Ecology.
  • June 8, 2022 – The Department of Ecology issued a final report to the state legislature formalizing its plans to pursue regulatory restrictions on four classes of chemicals in 10 product categories—the largest-ever number of chemical classes and products by a state.
  • August 31, 2022 – Toxic-Free Future submitted comments on the pre-draft regulation to implement the Safer Products for Washington law

For more information, visit the Washington Department of Ecology’s implementation timeline and process.