How Regulations’ ‘List Envy’ Impacts Manufacturers

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Product Manufacturers often ask whether they should be concerned when a chemical used in the production of one or more of their products becomes the subject of enhanced regulatory review for one reason or another. This question is frequently raised in the context of California Proposition 65 listings; chemicals listed under Proposition 65 become subject to significantly greater scrutiny largely because of hazard warnings that must be communicated under certain circumstances. The answer to their question is an unqualified “yes.”

Lists Beget Lists

Government agencies love lists of chemicals. Virtually every agency – domestic or foreign – tasked with protecting human health and the environment generates lists of chemicals that are believed, for one reason or another, to pose risk of injury to human health and/or the environment. More often than not, these lists do not contain a threshold above which exposure to the chemical could give rise to the type of injury or adverse effect that caused its listing in the first place.

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