List of Lists: State by State Chemicals of Concern

The eternal quest for the constantly updated, fact-checked and inter-regional management of chemical data in today’s industry (without paying for it) has just taken a small step forward.  New England’s Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association or NEWMOA has produced a Chemicals of Concern List-of-Lists, if you will.  It’s live, accurate, and includes data from three states: Washington, Minnesota and Maine — three of the hardest working states on the issue of chemical contamination, particularly as it affects, or potentially affects, children’s health.  (Sources say NEWMOA plans to add California chemicals of concern later this year.)

Meanwhile, the current NEWMOA list of lists is here.

Have a look, and share this blog post with colleagues.  Get the message out.

The Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan interstate association whose membership consists of the hazardous waste, solid waste, waste site cleanup, and pollution prevention program directors for the environmental agencies in New England states plus a few, like New York and New Jersey.

NEWMOA’s Mercury Reduction Program, for instance, provides useful information and resources regarding mercury reduction in industry, schools and at home.

Free chemical lists. In the past, managing lists of lists has proven so complex and time consuming that only private companies have been able to stay with it over time.  Such companies sell chemical lists and compliance management capabilities for tens of thousands of dollars in annual subscription rates.  Some nonprofits like NEWMOA are wrangling chemical regulatory lists so the public can use them — for free.  Kudos.  Not an easy job due to the constantly-changing nature of the beast(s).

Washington Chemicals of Concern. To implement the Children’s Safe Products Act (CSPA), Washington Ecology developed a High Priority Chemicals list consisting of chemicals identified by a state agency, federal agency, or accredited research university, or other scientific evidence deemed authoritative by the department on the basis of credible scientific evidence as known to do one or more of six criteria outlined in CSPA (70.240.010 (6)).

Washington Ecology, in consultation with the WA Department of Health, then developed a refined list of High Priority Chemicals that manufacturers must report on under the CSPA. This list, the Reporting List of Chemicals of High Concern to Children, includes chemicals that are toxic and have either been found in children’s products or have been documented to be present in human tissue (blood, breast milk, etc.). Of course, the mere presence of these chemicals in children’s products doesn’t necessarily indicate risk of harm; but Washington figured the potential danger to children is worth using these instances as a start point.

Maine Chemicals of Concern. As directed by Maine law, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in concurrence with the Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a list of Maine Chemicals of Concern. A chemical may be included on the list if it has been identified by an authoritative governmental entity on the basis of credible scientific evidence as being known as a carcinogen, a reproductive or developmental toxicant or an endocrine disruptor; persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic; or very persistent and very bioaccumulative.

In June 2011, the law setting forth criteria for the designation of chemicals of high concern was amended by passage of LD 1129. The list of Chemicals of High Concern will be published July 2012.

Minnesota Chemicals of Concern. The Minnesota Chemicals of High Concern list contains a variety of chemicals such as pesticides, dyes, solvents, plasticizers, flame retardants, and many others. Each chemical has at least one hazard characteristic that causes it to qualify for the list, such as being neurotoxic, immunotoxic, or being persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic.

California Chemicals of Concern. More on California Prop 65 Chemicals List is available, scroll down page at link for a viewable and downloadable PDF document to have on hand for your records.

About Kal

Kal Kawar, CIH, PE, has a bachelor's in chemical engineering and a master's in industrial hygiene. His professional experience includes serving as staff industrial hygienist for IBM's New York semiconductor manufacturing facility, and as industrial hygienist for IBM’s US headquarters. Now executive vice president of Actio, Kal taps more than 20 years' worth of chemical engineering, industrial hygiene, and environmental engineering experience. His far-reaching expertise with global regulatory challenges created by EPA, TSCA, REACH, RoHS, WEEE – and hundreds of others – aid in developing Actio software solutions for MSDS management, raw material disclosure compliance, and product stewardship in a supply chain.
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