On October 5, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1200 by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), related to cookware. Section One of the bill adds Chapter 15 (commencing with Section 109000) to Part 3 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code. Chapter 15 is titled “Chemicals of Concern in Food Packaging and Cookware.” Article 1 is titled “Plant-Based Food Packaging Containing PFAS.”
The new law defines the terms “food packaging,” which includes food or beverage containers, take-out food containers, unit product boxes, liners, wrappers, serving vessels, eating utensils, straws, food boxes, and disposable plates, bowls, or trays; “perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances” or “PFAS,” which means a class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom; “regulated perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS.”
Commencing on January 1, 2023, no one is permitted to distribute, sell, or offer for sale in the state any food packaging that contains regulated perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS. In addition, a manufacturer must use the least toxic alternative when replacing regulated perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS in food packaging.
Article 2 is titled “Chemical Disclosures for Cookware.” The new list defines the terms “cookware,” meaning durable houseware items that are used in homes and restaurants to prepare, dispense, or store food, foodstuffs, or beverages; “designated list,” which means the list of chemicals identified as candidate chemicals that exhibit a hazard trait or an environmental or toxicological endpoint that meet specified criteria in DTSC regulations; “intentionally added chemical”; “manufacturer”; and “product label.”
Commencing on January 1, 2024, a manufacturer of cookware sold in California that contains one or more intentionally added chemicals present on the designated list in the handle of the product or in any product surface that comes into contact with food, foodstuffs, or beverages is required to list the presence of those chemicals on the product label. The label must be in English and Spanish and contain specified language. There must also be a website address listed as well as a QR code.
Certain cookware is exempt from the requirements of this new law, including where the surface area of the cookware cannot fit a product label of at least two square inches or the cookware does not have an exterior container or wrapper on which a product label can appear or a tag with information about the product.
In addition, commencing on January 1, 2023, a manufacturer of cookware sold in California that contains one or more intentionally added chemicals present on the designated list in the handle of the product or in any cookware surface that comes into contact with food, foodstuffs, or beverages is required to post on the internet website for the cookware a list of all chemicals in the cookware, names of authoritative list referenced by DTSC, and a link to a website for the that list.
Furthermore, commencing on January 1, 2023, on the internet website for the cookware, and on January 1, 2024, on the cookware package, a manufacturer is prohibited from making a claim that the cookware is free of any specific chemical if the chemical belongs to a chemical group or class identified on the designated list, unless no individual chemical from that chemical group or class is intentionally added to the cookware.
Finally, cookware that contains one or more intentionally added chemicals present on the designated list in the handle of the product or in any product surface that comes into contact with food, foodstuffs, or beverages is prohibited from being sold, offered for sale, or distributed in California unless the cookware and the manufacturer of the cookware comply with this new law.
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