On December 9, 2019, the New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed into law a bill restricting the use of 1,4-Dioxane in a variety of cosmetic, personal care and household products.
The bill, S.4389-B/A.6295-A, brings into law two effective dates for the restrictions:
- January 1, 2022:
- Cosmetics: ≤ 10 ppm
- Personal Care Products: ≤ 2 ppm
- Household Cleansing Products: ≤ 2 ppm
- January 1, 2023:
- Personal Care Products: ≤ 1 ppm
- Household Cleansing Products: ≤ 1 ppm
Stakeholders should recognize the limit for cosmetics remains at ≤ 10 ppm.
The appearance of 1,4-Dioxane is cosmetic, personal care and household products is currently being reevaluated in many territories, see SafeGuard 178/19 for the recent changes to ASEAN guidelines.
1,4-Dioxane is a by-product from the manufacture of surfactants, specifically ethoxylated surfactants. It is listed in California’s Prop 65 list as a chemical known to cause cancer and the California Division of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) recently identified it as a candidate chemical that may warrant further research. If 1,4-Dioxane is selected as a priority chemical, manufacturers would need to alert the DTSC of its presence in products, regardless of level. They would also need to submit an analysis of possible alternatives and indicate they intentions surrounding the chemical and its use.
Conversely, in June 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft risk assessment that claimed that current measures were sufficient to adequately assess and effectively manage risk associated with 1,4-Dioxane. These included the:
- Clean Air Act
- Safe Drinking Water Act
- Clean Water Act
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
The New York State law retains a definition of cosmetics that is consistent with the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) definition. This is to include, any article intended:
- To be rubbed, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance, and…
- For use as a component of any such article
The definition of personal care product includes any product intended for cleaning or cleansing any part of the body, e.g. skin and hair. This means it includes, inter alia, hair shampoo, hair conditioner, soap, bath gels and other bath products. It does not include products that require prescription.
Finally, the definition of household cleaning products stays the same as § 35-0103 of the Environmental Conservation Law. This means it includes, inter alia, soaps and detergents containing a surfactant as a wetting or dirt emulsifying agent and used primarily for domestic or commercial cleaning purposes. This includes products for cleaning fabrics, dishes, food utensils and household and commercial premises. It does not include disinfectant products regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
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