California Creates a New Online Toxic Chemical Database

By 2011 California will have a searchable online toxic chemical database for consumers to search and gain more knowledge about the chemicals present in the products they use.

The database, compiled by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), is part of the Green Chemistry initiative, and is one of two green bills signed into effect in late September by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals that are common in the lives of California residents.

Bill SB 509 establishes the creation of the database, while the other bill, AB 1879, requires the DTSC to prioritize chemicals of concern and analyze alternatives, and gives authority to this agency to restrict hazardous chemicals in products used in California.

Similar hazardous chemical lists already exist in Canada and the European Union. The Environmental Working Group has a searchable database for chemicals present in cosmetics, but this is the first law-mandated database on its kind in the United States.

More about chemicals and the environment

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• Join the campaign for chemical-free beauty products.