Joining other states in the push to regulate chemicals in cleaning products, California has set its sights on such products containing PFAS. The governor is expected to sign AB 727 which will ban their containing "intentionally added" PFAS chemicals beginning January 1, 2026. It will also ban them in floor sealants starting January 1, 2028. A bill impacting a much smaller universe is AB 1423, which will ban intentionally added PFAS in artificial and synthetic turf beginning January 1, 2026.

This cleaning products law raises the same question as those related to California laws taking effect in 2025 that ban PFAS in textiles and cosmetics. What is "intentionally added" and what is the proper test method to use? The law requires that one SHALL NOT "manufacture, sell, deliver, distribute, hold, or offer for sale" a cleaning product that contains either intentionally added PFAS or PFAS in a product at or over 50 parts per million in organic fluorine starting January 1, 2026 and steps down to 10 ppm January 1, 2028. Two problems present themselves. First, what is "intentionally added" mean? What if your supplier is foreign and has no idea what is in the product it sells you? While you may be able to test it for the presence of PFAS, how do you determine what was intentionally added? And in terms of testing, there remains some debate over the proper method and whether these tests can accurately measure fluorine.

Regardless, the law is clear that retailers are in the same boat as manufacturers – "shall not" sell or distribute. The best course is for retailers to require indemnity from manufacturers in these cases if that is even possible, and manufacturers will have to rely on the maximum allowable levels permitted in the law as a guide unless there is a way to determine "intentionally added." More questions than answers. There are a couple years to get the kinks worked out and we expect the Legislature will need to do some "clean up."

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.