Organic Consumers Association

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California to Rewrite Toxic-Chemical Regulations

California  will take another stab at writing regulations that limit the toxic chemicals in consumer products after too many people said the rules weren't strict enough.

The state's Department of Toxic Substances Control will miss a deadline Sunday to approve the new regulations, designed to remove harmful chemicals from toys, makeup, household cleaners and other products.

California's regulations could eventually influence how other states govern such chemicals.

"We thought it would be better to get it right, rather than just getting it done," said Maziar Movassaghi, the department's acting director.

Once champions of the so-called green chemistry initiative, many environmental and health groups complained earlier this month that the draft regulations were so narrowly focused that they wouldn't do much good.

The regulations sought to keep chemicals known to cause cancer out of three types of products: those for children under 12, household cleaners and personal care items.

But the critics said the most recent draft regulations would actually reverse progress because they make it easier for manufacturers to replace known harmful chemicals with others that have not yet been found to be safe.

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