You told us you want safer products. Here’s what we’re doing about it.
Safer Products for Washington uses your feedback to help get harmful chemicals out of the stuff we all buy.
Washingtonians want safer products. You overwhelmingly told us that. Almost 400 people responded to our Safer Products for Washington survey this past winter, in both English and Spanish. And 95% of them said they were concerned about harmful chemicals in the stuff they buy.
A new law requires the state departments of Health and Ecology to get harmful chemicals out of products. It’s a long process, but we’re making progress. And your survey answers told us we’re working in the right direction.
The products people are concerned about
People from across Washington told us the everyday products they most want us to focus on as we work to reduce harmful chemicals. Those who responded said they most want harmful chemicals taken out of many common products, including:
- Personal care and beauty products.
- Food and drink cans.
- Laundry detergent.
- Carpet and rugs.
We’re developing rules about those products to limit use of certain chemicals like phthalates in personal care products, phenolic compounds in drink can liners, and other chemicals. More information about these hazardous chemicals can be found on our website.
But the Pollution Prevention for Healthy People and Puget Sound law doesn’t stop here. And neither do we. The law requires us to continue working to get harmful chemicals out of products we buy. And when we asked what products you want us to research next, you said:
- Food related products.
- Cleaning and laundry products.
- Yard care and agricultural products.
- Clothing and accessories.
People who responded to the survey also shared ideas on how we could help them. Some of the requests include:
- Efforts to remove toxic chemicals from all products.
- More statewide education and outreach.
- Actions to protect wildlife and the environment.
- Information about safer choices for Washingtonians.
Working on other things you asked for
The new law does not give us the authority to regulate some of the products you mentioned, or to take some of the actions you asked for. For example:
- We are not able to regulate things like agricultural products, food, and medicine.
- We can’t create new requirements for labels.
For these products and ideas, we plan to:
- Identify people who work on those products in other Ecology programs or at other government agencies and pass along your feedback.
- Collect resources about these products on our new webpage: Safer products at home.
- Continue to encourage our partners in industry to voluntarily act where they can, such as to provide more details on product labels.
Where we go from here
We are excited to begin researching the next round of harmful chemicals that get added to the things we buy. We heard your important survey feedback. It’s helping us create resources, including this new webpage: What’s hazardous in my home? Washingtonians can use these resources to make informed and safer decisions.
As we move through the process of removing these chemicals from the shelves in Washington state, you can take action to protect your family and community now. The Safer Products for Washington website from the Department of Ecology has tips on how to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and buy safer products.
If you have questions or concerns, send an email to the Safer Products for Washington team. We will be happy to hear from you.
Questions about COVID-19? Visit our COVID-19 website to learn more about vaccines and booster doses, testing, WA Notify, and more. You can also contact the Department of Health call center at 1–800–525–0127 and press # from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday — Sunday and observed state holidays. Language assistance is available.