S.4389-B (Kaminsky) / A.6295-A (Englebright)


Senior Director, Government Affairs


S.4389-B (Kaminsky) / A.6295-A (Englebright)


1,4 Dioxane



This legislation will prohibit the sale of household cleaning products and personal care products containing  1,4-dioxane greater than two parts per million by December thirty-first, two thousand twenty-two; and one part per million by December thirty-first, two thousand twenty-three. Additionally the legislation will prohibit the sale of any cosmetic products containing 1,4-dioxane, greater than ten parts per million by December 13, 2022. The Business Council is opposed to this legislation because the legislation fails to provide the needed time for companies to redesign products and process to meet the proposed significantly lower levels of 1,4-dioxane.

It is widely known and accepted by the scientific community that unintentional and unavoidable residues of 1,4-dioxane may be present in formulated products as a result of the starting materials and manufacturing methods for certain surfactants and similar materials. The EPA has concluded “it is unlikely that 1,4-dioxane is intentionally used in formulations of currently available commercial and consumer products”.

Specifically, 1,4-dioxane can be formed as a by-product in several ethoxylation reactions, particularly those used in the production of surfactants for detergent formulations (e.g., alkyl ether sulphates, non-ionic surfactants). A variety of other products that are formed by ethoxylation reactions have the potential to contain 1,4-dioxane as a by-product (e.g., alkyl-, alkylphenol- and fatty amine ethoxylates, polyethylene glycols and their esters, and sorbitan ester ethoxylates). Presently, most manufacturers utilize vacuum stripping to remove 1,4-dioxane before the formulation of ethoxylated surfactants in consumer cosmetics and household products, but research is ongoing to allow for the large scale deployments of new techniques to address unintentionally added 1,4-dioxane. 

Knowing that 1,4-dioxane is unintentional and unavoidable, the International Cooperation on Cosmetic Regulation (which includes regulatory authorities from Canada, the European Union, Japan and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved their recommendations for acceptable trace 1,4-dioxane levels in cosmetic products at 25 parts per million moving to 10 parts per million after a suitable transition period.  

It is worth of noting that contaminated drinking water has not been associated with the use of household cleaning products or cosmetic products. 1,4-Dioxane is typically found at some solvent release sites. Historically, 90% of 1,4-dioxane production was used as a stabilizer in chlorinated solvents such as 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA); however, use of 1,4-dioxane has decreased since TCA was phased out by the Montreal Protocol in 1996.   

This legislation unrealistic time frames to redesign products and process to meet proposed significantly lower levels of 1,4-dioxane. The legislation will not affect the source of groundwater contamination. For these reasons the Business Council opposes this measure.