When it comes to cleaning, ethoxylated fatty alcohols are the good stuff, beating conventional soap in cleaning power while being gentle on skin and clothes.
They and their foamy, sulfated cousins are the chemical backbone of the cleaning and personal care industries. These biodegradable workhorse surfactants have polar heads and long, nonpolar tails. As is the case with soap, this structural motif lets them play the intermediary between greasy substances and watery ones, binding emulsions together in a lipstick or helping a dish detergent wash away butter.
But the ethoxylation and sulfation steps involved in producing these surfactants can create 1,4-dioxane as a by-product. The US Environmental Protection Agency calls dioxane “a likely human carcinogen” that “does not readily biodegrade in the environment.”
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has issued a Proposition 65 ‘fact sheet’ for N-methylpyrrolidone that advises using alternative paint removal products that do not contain the solvent.
The fact sheet, recently published on Oehha’s consumer-facing informational website, follows NMP’s June 2001 listing as a reproductive toxicant under the state’s right-to-know scheme.
It warns that exposure to the solvent during pregnancy can cause birth defects. And it recommends that, if a consumer decides to use a paint, graffiti, or coating remover, to choose alternatives to products with NMP or the replacement solvent methylene chloride.
Multiple Prop 65 settlement agreements and judgments have been reached for DINP in a variety of products. Many of these allow a Prop 65 warning as an alternative.
Unless specifically exempted, companies doing business in California have been required to provide ‘a clear and reasonable warning’ before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to diisononyl phthalate (DINP) since December 2014.
Multiple Prop 65 settlements and judgments have been reached for DINP in a variety of consumer products. These include, inter alia, electrical items, footwear, hanging storage bags, household sundries, inflatable ring cushions, massage products, and tools.
The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is the lead agency for the implementation of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 . OEHHA received a request for a Safe Use Determination (SUD) for exposures to bisphenol A (BPA)  from certain polycarbonate eyewear products manufactured, distributed, or sold by The Vision Council (TVC) member companies. The request was made by TVC, pursuant to Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations, section 25204(b)(3).
In accordance with the process set forth in Section 25204(f), OEHHA held a written public comment period on this request from March 8, 2019 to April 8, 2019. No hearing was requested and no public comments were received.
On May 22, 2017, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine submitted an informal petition pursuant to Government Code section 11340.6 and California Code of Regulations, title 27, section 25904(d), to amend California Code of Regulations, title 27, section 27001(b) to add "Processed meat (consumption of)" to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer via the Labor Code listing mechanism.
The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is not rescheduling the Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) at this time due to the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19. OEHHA planned to announce a new meeting date for spring 2020; however, given the escalating concern over the COVID-19 public health emergency, OEHHA has decided not to reschedule the meeting until after the emergency has passed. When OEHHA reschedules the CIC meeting it will provide notice on its website and via listserv.
The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is announcing the postponement of the Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) meeting scheduled for December 5, 2019, and the opening of an additional public comment period on the potential listing by the CIC of acetaminophen as a carcinogen under Proposition 65. OEHHA is postponing the meeting to provide the public additional time to submit relevant scientific information concerning the potential listing.