Consumer Products Face New Challenge: State Finds That Many Common Products Must be Managed as Hazardous Waste When Disposed Of

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California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has released the results of aquatic toxicity testing on over-the-counter remedies, health and beauty products, and cleaning products. The results indicate that over one-in-four of the tested everyday products fail the department’s acute aquatic toxicity fish bioassay test, and thus, according to DTSC, they should be managed upon disposal as hazardous waste.

DTSC regulations rely on various tests, including the aquatic toxicity test, to determine whether a product should be classified as hazardous waste when it can no longer be used for its intended purpose. California’s aquatic toxicity test is more sensitive than the test relied upon by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under federal law. Thus, more products are likely to be characterized as hazardous under California law than federal law.

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