By Paul Hirsh
Senior Vice President, Industry Development & Strategic Partnerships

I recently had discussions with downstream industry trade groups representing companies to whom many of our members supply ingredients and intermediates — HCPA (Household and Consumer Products Association) and ACI (American Cleaning Institute) — on issues impacting their members which could also impact SOCMA members (their suppliers) and possible forced disclosures of chemical formulations.

We are seeing increased activity in this market space that could impact formulators and possibly ingredient manufacturers supplying into the household cleaning, consumer products and cosmetics markets, ‘don’t be surprised’ if your customers start asking for additional information on your products because of recent legislation in California and New York, with ripple effects due to these states’ large market share.

Why it matters:

Ingredient communication on finished products is being driven by consumer advocacy groups and governmental efforts to increase transparency and respond to customer expectations, which impacts product manufacturers, as well as retailers. California and New York represent significant market shares for household and consumer products.

The analogy I’ve heard is: ‘Think about how food packaging labeling has evolved over the years — with initiatives in key markets like California and New York, it’s easy to see similar requirements implemented for a vast range of consumer-oriented products products that we commonly use throughout our daily lives.’

What’s happening:

  • California SB 258 — The Cleaning Products Right to Know Act of 2017
  • New York DEC Guidance Document
  • New York Legislative language — closely mirrors CA SB 258
  • Federal Labeling legislation — mirrors CA SB 258, but with notable details:
    • Empowers FTC with regulatory authority
    • No citation to hazard lists
    • Only in product scope of SB 258
    • Preemption over all states EXCEPT CA

What’s driving retailers:

  • State Statutes & Regulations
  • Environmental Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs)
    • Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
      • Eliminate “chemicals of concern” from everyday products
      • Create transparency for consumer products
  • Safer Chemicals Healthy Families-Mind the Store Campaign
    • 2018 Annual Report Cardchains and national grocery store chains
  • Consumer demand for more transparent labeling

Washington Update:

Earlier this year HCPA hosted a 2019 Labeling Deadlines Webinar and at ACI’s upcoming Mid-Year Meeting, their Ingredient Communication Task Force will report on ingredient communication initiatives underway. Both HCPA and ACI are taking the lead on state and federal initiatives and SOCMA is monitoring and providing support from a suppliers’ commercial perspective.

SOCMA’s ChemSectors program will continue to monitor and seek opportunities to work with end user customer groups like HCPA and ACI on this critical issue. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months. Would you like more information on this topic? Let me know and I will share HCPA’s webinar slides and take away from ACI’s ingredient communication meeting.

Are there issues that affect your company’s business that may also impact the broader specialty and fine chemicals industry? Contact me at, and we can include them in our next SOCMA ChemTrends: Now Trending communication.

I look forward to hearing from you on issues impacting the broader industry to share with our members to gain another perspective.

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