Consumer Products Enforcement
This page last reviewed December 7, 2015
Consumer Products are chemically formulated products used by household and institutional consumers. Some examples are: detergents; cleaning compounds; polishes; floor finishes; cosmetics; personal care products; home, lawn, and garden products; disinfectants; sanitizers; aerosol paints; and automotive specialty products. Consumer Products do NOT include: other paint products, furniture coatings, or architectural coatings.
Specific product categories may be viewed in Title 17, CCR, § 94509 Standards for Consumer Products.
Why Regulate Consumer Products?
Consumer products are a significant source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In 2005, consumer products accounted for about 259 tons per day of VOC emissions in California alone. These VOCs react with other pollutants under sunlight to form ground-level ozone and particulate matter (PM 10), the main ingredients in smog. Reducing VOC emissions from consumer products plays a significant part in ARB's effort to reduce smog in California.
For regulatory information, fact sheets, public workshops and more, please visit ARB's Consumer Products web page. For more information about the effect of VOCs from consumer products on California's air quality, please visit the Consumer Products and Smog web page.
Who Needs to Comply?
- Manufacturers and marketers
- Distributors and wholesalers
Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Standards for Consumer Products
Title 17, CCR, § 94509 specifies that no person shall sell, supply, offer for sale, or manufacture for sale in California any consumer product which, at the time of sale or manufacture, contains volatile organic compounds in excess of the limits specified in the following Table of Standards after the specified effective dates.
The California Health & Safety Code (HSC) §41712: Regulations to control volatile organic compounds in consumer products, specifies that the Air Resources Board shall adopt regulations to achieve the maximum feasible reduction in volatile organic compounds emitted by consumer products.
Investigators in the Consumer Products program purchase samples of regulated consumer products from outlets all over California. They inspect product containers for compliance with registration and dating requirements and send selected products to the laboratory for testing. This program is responsible for investigating violations and presenting findings for suitable resolution. The investigators present violations of criminal laws to prosecutors.
Violations are Costly
The fine for violating air pollution regulations can be up to $50,000 per day. Every day a non-complying product is offered for sale, the company may be considered to be in violation. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers are advised to stock their inventories with the newest complying products in order to avoid violations and to help provide a healthier environment.