A new California law will require that household cleaning products containing harmful ingredients be labeled. This law will fully take effect over the course over the next three years. Governor Jerry Brown signed the law on Sunday October, 15, 2017. There has been a national discussion about whether consumers have the right to know about what is in their products. This is the first state to have such a law.
Manufacturers will have to start posting their product ingredients online by the year 2020. They will be required to put the ingredients on label by the year 2021. Ricardo Lara is a state senator in California. He stated that people in California and around the country have been demanding that they know about the chemicals that are in their cleaning products.
Ricardo stated that it is time for a law to be put in place to protect consumers. There have been scientific studies done in order to confirm that exposure to ingredients in many household cleaners can be harmful. Children, parents and workers are exposed to these chemicals every day. These chemicals can be even more harmful for people who already have a preexisting health condition.
Making this bill a law has been quite challenging. It has been amended six times. There were several other legislative negotiations. One of the proposed changes would give people additional information that they can use when they are selecting household ingredients. There was also a proposed change that would allow people with allergies and asthma to find out more about the ingredients in the product. There are many ingredients that can worsen these conditions.
California is the largest state in this country. Consequently, changes that are made in California can spark changes in the rest of the country. It could also change the way that manufacturers across the country market their product. Ricardo stated that he is excited about the changes. He is a big fan of the bill because he knows firsthand how important it is for people to know what is in the products they are using.
Ricardo’s mother used to be a house cleaner. He stated that his mother would get sick and dizzy after she would come home from work. He now knows that it was the cleaners that were making his mother sick.
Some companies have voluntarily started to put their ingredients on their products. However, a survey taken in 2016 showed that only 14 percent of companies fully disclosed the ingredients that were in their products. Many of the companies still used vague terms like ‘preservative’ and ‘fragrances’.
Labeling the products is one of the most important steps that can be taken to make household cleaning products safer. Many companies will choose to reformulate their products instead of disclosing the harmful ingredients. The changes that are made in California may affect other products that are sold throughout the country.
Many manufacturers are protected by trade secrets. This allows them to get away with not putting the ingredients on their products. However, companies are no longer protected by the trade secret claims. Full disclosure of ingredients will now be required.
Learn more about Hazardous Chemical Lawsuits.