On April 14, 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency released an updated draft risk assessment for formaldehyde, in which it links long-term, low-dose inhalation of the common chemical to leukemia and various cancers involving the head and neck.  EPA has also identified potential links to non-cancer health outcomes, including sensory irritation, respiratory problems, reproductive and developmental toxicity, and nervous system effects.  The risk assessment associates these potentially adverse health effects with lifetime doses even lower than those identified by EPA in its 2010 draft, which EPA had agreed to revisit after the scientific community and industry stakeholders criticized its methodology.    
Continue Reading EPA Draws Link Between Low-Dose Formaldehyde Exposure and Cancer

Several retailers recently settled cases with the FTC over allegations they deceptively marketed “bamboo” textiles. These cases come as some of the first, if not the first, instances of the FTC using its revived civil penalty authority to punish initial offenses by retailers.
Continue Reading FTC Uses Civil Penalty Authority in Rayon-as-Bamboo Cases

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed its much-anticipated proposal to require that public companies disclose climate-related information. The proposed rule is significant because, for the first time, the SEC would mandate that companies (including foreign companies) publicly traded in the US disclose climate-related risk and greenhouse gas emissions information beyond the information currently required by existing SEC rules applicable to registration statements and annual reports.
Continue Reading The SEC Proposes a Mandatory Climate Disclosure Regime for Public Companies

In late 2021, the California Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling asked the state’s Attorney General, Rob Bonta, and the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to crack down on inappropriate use of recycling symbols on plastic bags, including the “chasing arrows” logo and the words “recycle” and “recyclable.” According to the Commission, confused California consumers place these mislabeled bags out for curbside collection, which forces recycling companies to spend time pulling these soft plastics out of the waste stream or fixing jammed machines.
Continue Reading California to Shore up Already-Robust Plastic Bag Enforcement

With the busy holiday shopping season underway, retailers should remain vigilant in their efforts to protect consumers and themselves from the risks of selling potentially unsafe, ineffective or misbranded products in violation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s federal pesticide law, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
Continue Reading Five Questions Retailers Should Ask Themselves When Selling Pesticide Products and Devices

On September 22, 2021, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a sample comment letter to highlight its increased focus on climate change-related disclosures or the absence of such disclosures in issuer filings under the Securities Act and the Exchange Act.
Continue Reading SEC Issues Sample Climate Change Comment Letter

In a dramatic recent announcement, EPA suggested that if companies import, manufacture, or process a finished good for commercial sale, and that product is not a pesticide, not a firearm, not a tobacco product, and not a food, food additive, drug, cosmetic, or device, they will need to know all chemicals contained in those products.
Continue Reading EPA May Require Companies To Know All The Chemicals In Products They Make Or Sell

Environmental justice is a central focus of the Biden administration’s environmental agenda. In the wake of issuance of new and enhanced EJ policies by both the federal government and states, it behooves lawyers in multiple disciplines to account for EJ issues in their legal practice.
Continue Reading Environmental Justice Considerations in Business Transactions

In an unprecedented and broad action, EPA has proposed a rule that would require reporting of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances by manufacturers and importers under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
Continue Reading Do You Import Products for Commercial Sale? Have You Heard About the ‘Forever Chemicals?’

Environmental, social and corporate governance – like climate change and environmental justice – has been a hot topic of discussion in the early days of the Biden administration. Illustrating the interconnectedness of the trending issues, climate change and environmental justice are pillars of ESG.
Continue Reading Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance: What are the Risks, Really?