One Year Later: New Yorkers Await Chemical Disclosure Regulations

Early last year, Governor Cuomo announced plans for a regulation that would require manufacturers of cleaning products to disclose all of the ingredients in any cleaning products sold in New York on their websites (no more than four clicks away from the homepage), as well as disclosure of the ingredients to the State. In April of last year, a draft of the disclosure form was released by the New York State Department of Environment Conservation (DEC), putting us on the right track for these regulations.

In the summer of 2017, NYLCV members took action and sent many comments to DEC supporting the new set of regulations.  Members also urged DEC to make sure that the program is as easy as possible for consumers to know and have the ability to compare the chemicals in their cleaning products.

Since the release of this draft, neither the disclosure form nor the actual program has been finalized. The draft was open for comments until the middle of July 2017, and the DEC received 864 of them from various industry representatives and environmental groups. This past April, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, told Newsday that this delay is caused by the time spent on incorporating these comments into the draft. They still have not disclosed a timeline of when to expect the program and disclosure form to be finalized.

When Governor Cuomo announced this plan this past year, the DEC and many New York residents were excited that New York would have been the first state to have such regulations. It has been over a year since this announcement, and in the meantime, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed a similar law into action, known as the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017.  This law has already gone into effect.

The disclosure program would have a great impact on both public health and the environment. Consumers would have the ability to easily choose cleaning products with chemicals that are less damaging to themselves and the environment.

We continue to await Governor Cuomo and the DEC to put this program into action. The health of New Yorkers and the environment would directly benefit greatly if there was more transparency in what is actually in the products that we use every day.