2001 Consumer Products Survey

This page last reviewed September 24, 2008

GENERAL QUESTIONS
  1. FIFRA
  2. Company Name Change
  3. Market Coverage Question on Preliminary Form
  4. Customer Type
  5. Multiple Companies
  6. Coincidental Product Attributes
  7. VOC List
  8. Surveyed Before, Why Not Now?
  9. Category Isn't Listed
10. Exact Sales Information Not Available
11. Which Company Should Send FORM 4?
12. Did Product Categories Change?
13. Consultant Recommendation
14. BIN Numbers

WHO MUST COMPLETE THIS SURVEY?
1. Is this survey mandatory?
2. We are not a responsible party
3. We do not make consumer products
4. If I didn't receive a survey, is it still mandatory for me to complete it?
5. Subject: Pet Products

DEFINING TERMS
1. Italicized Words
2. Regulatory Definitions
3. LVP-VOC Solvents
4. Solvent Definition

ELECTRONIC VERSION
1. Why can't I type in some boxes?
2. Error: "Ingredients don't add up to 100"
3. Electronic Version for Formulators?
4. Electronic Copies of the Confidential Information Form
5. Windows NT

INGREDIENTS
1. Soap
2. Products Without VOCs
3. Grouping Products by Botanical Extract

GENERAL QUESTIONS

1. FIFRA

Question: What is a FIFRA registered product?

Answer: FIFRA is the acronym for the "Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act". FIFRA regulates the sale and use of pesticides in the United States. Products that fall under this act must be registered through the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Products that are sold or offered for sale in California must also be registered through California's Department of Pesticide Regulation. These products have both federal and state labeling requirements and their registration numbers can be found on their product label.


2. Company Name Change

Question: Our company was sold and the name changed. On the preliminary form, should we list our new company name or our name from the survey period (2001)?

Answer: Please use your new company name to submit the survey. To minimize confusion, please indicate the name change when sending in the Preliminary Form (page 3).

3. Market Coverage Question on Preliminary Form

Question: What does the market coverage question on the Preliminary Form mean? Am I required to submit contact information for other companies?

Answer: This question was written to give industry a chance to provide us with addresses of companies who may not have received a copy of the survey. It is not required, simply check "no" if you do not have any information to provide.

4. Customer Type

Question: For the question on FORM 3, Section A, # 4, "Customer Type," may we list a percentage estimate? We would have a hard time figuring out the customer type who purchased the item.

Answer: The "Customer Type" question asks for the type of customer for which the product is intended. Typically, products are labeled and marketed to household, commercial, or industrial customers. Some products are also only available for purchase to certain customers. An estimate would be valid for this question, as long as your estimate is to the best of your knowledge.

5. Multiple Companies

Question: How do I complete the survey for multiple responsible parties? There are several companies owned by my "umbrella" company that meet your definition of "responsible party." Can I just put everything all together under one company name?

Answer: If you are submitting by hardcopy, one entire survey must be submitted per responsible party. If you are using the electronic version, you may enter data for multiple companies, however, a signed "FORM 1", and "Confidential Information Form" must be printed and submitted for each company.

6. Coincidental Product Attributes

Question: What if our product can serve the purpose of a category, but it is not labeled as such. How should we categorize this product? For example: Our products are labeled to "clean," but they often deodorize by chance. Additionally, they often have fragrance added only to minimize the chemical odors, but do not advertise their deodorizing properties on the label.

Answer: Choose the category according to the claims on the Principal Display Panel for the product. Coincidental attributes should not be considered when choosing a category.

7. VOC List

Question: Our company is currently developing a list of VOC's used in our products. Is there is a list of VOC's that we could use as a reference for this search? We currently stock over 6,000 chemicals and pulling the MSDS for each may be extremely time consuming.

Answer: Unfortunately, there are thousands of VOCs and the list continues to grow as new chemicals are developed. The only list we have available is the CAS list that was included in the survey, which is not exclusively VOCs. As it is warned at the beginning of the list, the CAS list is not all-inclusive of the chemicals we are concerned with, VOC or otherwise. If you have a specific chemical that you need help with, let us know and we'll try to help. Generally, if there is some doubt about a compound, it may be easiest to speciate it and let us sort it out when we check over the submitted form.

8. Surveyed Before, Why Not Now?

Question: Some of the products that our company manufactures were surveyed in the ARB survey four years ago, however, they do not appear to be listed in the current survey categories. Can you explain why these products are not included this year, or am I missing something?

Answer: The 2001 survey is a targeted survey, with limited categories. We plan to conduct a comprehensive survey for the 2003 sales year. It is likely that we will survey those products at that time. Please also note if you are reporting any products that were previously reported, you should not use the category codes or any other information from previous surveys to complete the current survey. Everything you need to complete the 2001 Survey is contained within the packet and much of the information differs from previous surveys.


9. Category Isn't Listed

Question: We make a product that fell into the "proposed categories" that were listed in the "Draft Survey." Are these products reportable under the new survey scope?

Answer: Several product categories were dropped during the survey development process, others were added or revised. Report only products from the categories listed in the final survey packet, see full descriptions on page 78.

10. Exact Sales Information Not Available

Question: My company is a responsible party, but we sell our product to various warehouse distributors throughout the nation. The products are then distributed from these locations as our customers see fit. Although I know that products are sent to California, the distributors will not provide the exact sales data for those products. How can I provide the sales data you require on FORM3?

Answer: You can estimate the sales based on the assumption that a certain percent of the products were sent to California, based on population. See instructions on FORM 3, section B, item 6: if California direct sales data are not available, sales may be estimated by prorating national or regional figures by population. Attachment D on page 45 of the survey, "U.S. Resident Population," has been provided to assist you with this estimation.

11. Which Company Should Send FORM 4?

Question: We use a contract filler, or "formulator" according to the survey terminology, and our formulator would like to fill out FORM4 and send it back to my company. Is it acceptable if my company sends it to you, instead of the formulator sending it directly to you?

Answer: Yes, the process of having the formulator send the information directly to the ARB was set up to protect any confidential ingredient information that the formulator has from the responsible parties that it fills for. It is not a problem if they choose to send that information to you, however, they should fill out the contact information at the bottom of the form in case any questions arise.

12. Did Product Categories Change?

Question: We participated in a previous ARB survey and our product was considered a hair spray. However, on this survey I do not see a hair spray category, am I missing something?

Answer: The categories for this survey are not necessarily the same as on previous surveys, in addition, many category descriptions do not match current regulatory definitions. Many category names or category descriptions have changed to refine the types of products that should report. A product that was categorized as a "Hair Spray" previously, is most likely a "Hair Styling Product: Spray" on this survey.

13. Consultant Recommendation

Question: We need help completing the survey forms. Can you recommend a consultant to help us complete the survey on time?

Answer: We suggest you contact your trade associations to see if they might be able to recommend a consultant. Here are two possible associations to contact: 1. Consumer Toiletries and Fragrance Association (CTFA) has offered to provide recommendations, please contact Catherine Beckley by email at beckleyc@ctfa.org or by phone at 202-331-9220. 2. Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) will also be able to provide recommendations, please contact Doug Fratz by email at dfratz@cspa.org or by phone at 202-833-7304.

14. BIN Numbers

Question: I called the supplier of my hydrocarbon solvent and they did not know what the BIN number was; what is it and how can I find this number?

Answer: A bin number is a classification scheme developed by ARB staff, that represents the overall photochemical reactivity of a group of solvents with similar characteristics. For example, hydrocarbon solvents in Bin 9 have a reactivity value of 1.62. Bin 9 would include a class of hydrocarbon solvents that have an average boiling point > 205 and up to 340 degrees Fahrenheit. A hydrocarbon solvent that boils between 300 and 415 degrees Fahrenheit would have a boiling range mid-point of 357.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If this solvent also was comprised of various alkanes, with an aromatic content of between 2 and 8 percent, it would fall into Bin 9. If you had a hydrocarbon solvent with the same boiling range and comprised of various alkanes, but an aromatic content of between 8 and 22 percent, it would fall into Bin 10, with an MIR value of 2.03. (See page 61 of the survey.)

A bin number simply defines the range or area in which a compound falls according to the maximum incremental reactivity (MIR) scale, see page 61 of the survey or the web site listed on page 17 for reactivity. Although most of the large chemical suppliers are aware of BIN numbers, you may encounter staff that are unfamiliar with the term. Depending on the level of detail of the literature that accompanies shipments of the solvent, you may be able to determine the Bin number without further consulting your supplier. Many suppliers also include the Bin number on their product literature.

If you have difficulty, you may contact Andrew Jaques, of the American Chemistry Council. He has been working closely with ARB and chemical suppliers on this issue and has offered to help you determine what the BIN number is or put you in contact with someone at the supplier. You may contact him by phone at 703-741-5627 or by email at andrew_jaques@americanchemistry.com.

Please note that bin numbers are required only for hydrocarbon solvents, not for VOCs such as alcohols, glycol ethers, ketones, or acetates.

WHO MUST COMPLETE THIS SURVEY?

1. Is this survey mandatory?

Question: Is this mandatory under law to complete?

Answer: Yes, if you are the "Responsible Party" as defined on page 3 of the survey you must complete the entire survey. On page 6 of the survey (1st paragraph under Background) is a reference to the California Health and Safety Code, along with our Consumer Products Regulation, that states that we have the authority to require the submission of information needed to carry out our duties.

2. We are not a responsible party

Question: By the definition in the survey, we are not a responsible party; what do we need to do?

Answer: Please send the Preliminary Form (page 3) of the survey by fax or mail as indicated at the bottom of the form, indicating that you are not a responsible party for any product covered by the survey.

3. We do not make consumer products

Question: We do not make or otherwise deal with consumer products. Why did we get this survey and what do we need to do?

Answer: The survey was sent to a list of companies that are generally interested in regulations that affect consumer products. This list includes environmental groups, concerned citizens, government agencies, as well as many other types of businesses. If you are not listed on the label of a consumer product (see definition on page 86), then you are not considered a responsible party (definition on page 91). Please send the Preliminary Form (page 3) of the survey by fax or mail as indicated at the bottom of the form, indicating that you are not a responsible party for any product covered by the survey.

4. If I didn't receive a survey, is it still mandatory for me to complete it?

Question: Is completion of the survey mandatory for all "responsible parties" or only those who have received the survey?

Answer: Completion of the survey is mandatory for ALL responsible parties (see definition on page 91 and authority references on page 6). We make every effort to have a complete mailing list, but as you can imagine, it is quite difficult. If you provide us with the mailing address of anyone who should have received the survey, we will add them to our mailing list and send them a copy of the survey. By signing up for our Consumer Products listserv (see page 17) you will automatically be emailed each time new information is posted to the consumer product website.

5. Subject: Pet Products

Question: We have products used for dogs and other animals, but no human/personal products. Do we have to complete this Survey?

Answer: Yes, as stated on page 11 of the survey, pet products are being surveyed. The definition of pet care products can be found in the definition section on page 90.

DEFINING TERMS

1. Italicized Words

Question: It is not clear; are all italicized words defined in the Related Definitions section?

Answer: All italicized words in the "Category Descriptions" (page 78) are defined in the "Related Definitions" section to provide clarity where necessary. We also italicize defined words throughout the survey. However, we did not state that all italicized words are defined because many words are italicized simply for emphasis or format.

2. Regulatory Definitions

Question: Some of the terms in the Related Definitions section are not defined in the current California Consumer Products Regulation.

Answer: As stated at the top of page 12, "This survey is not intended to be used in conjunction with the California Consumer Products Regulation; all necessary information to compete this survey is provided within this document." This statement is provided because some regulatory definitions have been altered for survey purposes only and some terms that are defined for the survey cannot be found in the current California Consumer Products Regulation.

3. LVP-VOC Solvents

Question: What is your definition of an "LVP-VOC solvent" compared to a "non-solvent LVP-VOC"? Do you consider "LVP-VOC solvent" to be equal to your definition of a "hydrocarbon solvent"?

Answer: An LVP-VOC solvent is a liquid LVP-VOC (LVP-VOC is defined on page 89) that is added to the product either for the purposes of maintaining in solution the components of the formulation and/or for dissolving grease/grime/dirt when used as described on the label. This definition includes not only hydrocarbon solvents, but also other solvents such as glycol ethers.

4. Solvent Definition

Question: While completing FORM 4 I realized that the survey asks for differing information based on whether my compounds are hydrocarbon solvents or LVP-VOC solvents; what is a solvent?

Answer: For the purposes of this survey, "Solvent" means a liquid that is added to the product either for the purposes of maintaining in solution the components of the formulation and/or for dissolving grease/grime/dirt when used as described on the label. With that in mind, the definition of an LVP-VOC solvent can be found in this FAQ section, #3, and the hydrocarbon solvent definition is provided in the survey definition section, page 88. If you have a question on a specific chemical, please email us.

ELECTRONIC VERSION

1. Why can't I type in some boxes?

Question: Why won't the electronic forms let me type information into some of the boxes?

Answer: Some of the boxes will only allow a certain number of characters, starting from the far-left side. It is easiest to use the "tab" key to move from one box to another while entering data. However, if you click into a box with your mouse, you must place it in the furthest left space of the box, or you won't be able to type all of the information.

2. Error: "Ingredients don't add up to 100"

Question: The electronic version won't let me close FORM 4 because the ingredients don't add up to 100%. Only the formulator has that information; how can I save the remaining data?

Answer: The survey program requires that ingredients are entered into Form 4, and that the total of the entered ingredients equals 100 percent. If you are using a formulator to complete ingredient information, you will need to enter a placeholder value of "100" percent in the ingredient field for "Water." Once "100" percent is entered, the program will allow you to save the product information and you will be able to move on to entering the next product.

3. Electronic Version for Formulators

Question: I'm a private labeler, considered a formulator by your survey. Is there an electronic version I can use to complete the ingredients on FORM 4?

Answer: Unfortunately, the interactive electronic version of the survey was specifically designed for use by responsible parties, not formulators. We do not have a formulator version of an interactive database available at this time, so formulators need to submit ingredient information via hardcopy. For more information, see the formulator section of survey web site at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/consprod/regact/2001surv/2001surv.htm.

4. Electronic Copies of the Confidential Information Form

Question: On the electronic version, I can view the Confidentiality Information Form and Voluntary Survey Evaluation using the "Print Hardcopies" option, but the program won't allow me to data enter these forms. Can I complete them electronically?

Answer: Because hard copies of these two forms must be mailed in, the electronic version of the survey will only allow you to print the form, not enter the data. Print the forms and complete them by hand and submit as described on page 15 of the survey.

5. Windows NT

Question: We tried to use Windows NT 4.0 to install the electronic version of the survey, and we encountered technical problems. Is a Windows NT 4.0-compatible version available?

Answer: We are not able to adapt the software to work with Windows NT 4.0 at this time. We are very sorry for the inconvenience. You will need to use the hard copy survey forms.

INGREDIENTS

1. Soap

Question: Do liquid or solid soaps fall under the Personal Hygiene Products category in this survey?

Answer: The personal hygiene product category was not meant to include most soap products. However, some soap products may fit into the Body Wipes or Personal Foaming Product category, depending on the product's specific properties. See the definition for foam on page 87 and the category descriptions for Body Wipes and Personal Foaming Products on pages 78 and 80, respectively.

2. Products Without VOCs

Question: Most of the products we manufacture do not contain VOCs. Do we still have to report them?

Answer: Yes, to obtain complete and accurate information, any product falling under a category listed in the survey must to be reported, even zero VOC products. Please note, some consumer products contain fragrances, which are VOCs and must be grouped by total weight percent on FORM 4.

3. Grouping Products by Botanical Extract

Question: Can I group products by botanical extracts?

Answer: Yes, as long as the requirements for a product group are met. See page 12 for grouping requirements.




Consumer Products Program "Informal" Regulatory Activity



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