HCPA Statement on California Emissions Study

In response to the release of a new study on California VOC emissions published in the journal Science, the Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA) released the following statement attributed to Dr. Steven Bennett, Vice President, Scientific Affairs.

“HCPA member companies share a common goal with state and federal environmental agencies: improving air quality for all Americans.

Thanks to the Clean Air Act, ozone and particle pollution, as well as other pollutants, have been continuously dropping for decades. Our air has become cleaner, while the number of people, energy usage, and miles driven have increased dramatically, especially in California where the population has grown by more than 3 million people in the last ten years. HCPA recognizes that reducing pollution from facilities and mobile sources is not enough and that all sources, including consumer products, must do their part.

For more than 30 years, HCPA and our member companies have worked cooperatively with the legislators, regulators, NGOs and stakeholders at all levels of government to significantly improve air quality in California and across the U.S. HCPA member companies have also invested hundreds of millions of dollars to develop new or reformulated products with lower amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Our industry remains committed to providing sustainable products that achieve rigorous emissions standards while helping consumers and workers to live cleaner, healthier and more productive lives.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is recognized as the nation’s preeminent air quality authority, whose science-based regulatory standards improve air quality and protect public health. Since 1989, CARB has conducted numerous rulemaking procedures to continually revise California’s comprehensive and stringent consumer product regulations. In fact, CARB regulations cover more categories of consumer products and impose more rigorous VOC limits than the current EPA national regulation. 16 states and the District of Columbia have adopted regulations largely based on CARB’s stringent requirements.

To develop these consumer product regulations, CARB gathers information on levels of VOCs and other chemicals used in formulations. This data forms the basis for CARB’s regulatory framework and helps determine how consumer product emissions can feasibly be reduced. CARB recently completed a three-year survey of more than 400 broad categories of consumer products that were sold in California during 2013-2015, and HCPA looks forward to the release of that data, which will add tremendous value to the larger discussion around air quality.

Household and commercial products companies are constantly assessing new research, methods and scientific developments that impact and guide innovative product development and safety.

HCPA will be reviewing the McDonald et al. study and their findings. As the premier trade group for household and commercial products, HCPA believes that we all benefit when laws and regulations are based on the strongest science and data available. HCPA will continue to act as a collaborative partner with policymakers and regulatory agencies as we work towards our shared goal of effective air quality programs for California and the nation.”