Continuing our review of state green chemistry laws, Maine’s Safer Chemicals in Children’s Products Act primarily requires reporting the use of specified chemicals in certain children’s products based on risk and hazard criteria, although it may be used to restrict or ban use. Manufacturers of certain children’s products that contain specified chemicals must submit a one-time report to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The SCCP defines “manufacturers” as the domestic manufacturer or brand holder, and the importer or first domestic distributor if the manufacturer does not have a US presence.
The Department maintains three chemical lists based on risk and hazard criteria. The first list, “chemicals of concern,” includes approximately 1400 chemicals identified by other lists (such as those from EPA, the EU, and Proposition 65) as carcinogens, reproductive toxins, or endocrine disruptors. From this list, 49 chemicals make the second list, called “chemicals of high concern,” because they are found to be (1) present in human blood, breast milk, urine, or tissue; or (2) present in a home environment (e.g., in dust, indoor air, drinking water); or (3) added to or present in consumer products used in the home. Chemicals of high concern may then be placed on the third list, “priority chemicals,” based on factors such as pervasiveness of use, presence in the environment, and prohibition of use in other states.
Priority chemicals are subject to reporting requirements and possibly other restrictions. The Department publishes these requirements in conjunction with adding a chemical to the priority chemicals list. Reports are required either for an intentionally-added priority chemical or the presence of a priority chemical above de minimis levels, defined as 100 parts per million. Please note that priority chemicals in a product above 100 ppm as the result of contamination do not require a report if the manufacturer has legitimate manufacturing control processes in place.
The current priority chemicals and requirements are:
Manufacturers must report the presence of any of these chemicals above 100 parts per million in children’s accessories, bedding, childcare articles, clothing, cosmetics, costumes, craft supplies, footwear, games, jewelry, personal care products, safety seats, school supplies, and toys.
- Bisphenol A
The sale of reusable food and beverage containers, baby food packaging, and infant formulate packaging made with BPA is prohibited.
Manufacturers must report the presence of BPA above 100 parts per million in toys, child care articles, and tableware.
Manufacturers must report the presence of any intentionally-added formaldehyde in children’s accessories, bedding, childcare articles, clothing, cosmetics, costumes, craft supplies, footwear, games, jewelry, personal care products, safety seats, school supplies, and toys.
- Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates
Manufacturers must report the present of NP/NPE above 100 ppm in household and commercial cleaning products, cosmetics, personal care products, and home maintenance products.
Manufactures must report the presence of any intentionally-added DEHP, DBP, DEP, or BBP in children’s clothing, footwear, craft supplies, cosmetics and personal care products, home cleaning products, furniture and furnishing, and accessories and jewelry, as well as building and home maintenance products with which children may have direct contact.
If a report is required, manufacturers have 30 days after the product first becomes available for purchase in Maine to submit the report.
Report information includes:
- Name and address of the manufacturer
- Name, address, and phone number of a contact person for the manufacturer
- A description of the product, including size of the product/component that contains the chemical
- Whether it is mouthable (less than 5 cm)
- Units sold/distributed in Maine
- The amount of formaldehyde in the product
- The function of formaldehyde in the product
- Any other relevant information (e.g., exposure assessments of the product).
The Department also imposes an unspecified “reporting fee” intended to cover the cost of collecting and managing the information. There is little information about this fee, and the Department’s guidance suggests contacting Kerri Malinowski, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions regarding the applicability and amount of the fee.
If the Department identifies an unreported product containing a priority chemical, it will first send a notification to the manufacturer. The manufacturer then has an opportunity to rebut the Department’s position. The manufacturer could, for example, identify the chemical as a contaminant and describe its manufacturing control processes.
No fines or penalties are specified in the statute or guidance, but the statute expressly prohibits the sale of products within the state if not reported. The Department’s public enforcement reports contain no enforcement actions to date. Although not specified, the Department could pursue penalties under Maine’s general enforcement provisions for environmental laws, which authorizes civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation per day.