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In California, Emergency Rule Adds Airbag Waste Exemption

Posted on 5/8/2024 by Lion Technology Inc.

An emergency regulation to adopt relaxed management standards for undeployed airbag waste took effect on March 15 in California and will remain in effect until September 12, 2024.

The provisions exempt “airbag waste” from some of the Title 22/RCRA hazardous waste management rules, relaxing the requirements for generating, accumulating, and transporting these devices (when certain conditions are met). 

The goal in adding the exclusion for airbag waste is to facilitate the safe return and disposal of defective car airbags, like those impacted by the Takata airbag recall that began in the mid-2010’s. 

In California, Emergency Rule Adds Airbag Waste Exemption

Using the Airbag Waste Exclusion

To take advantage of the exclusion, car dealers, parts retailers, repair shops, and scrap yards, and other handlers of airbag waste must: 

  • Abide by limits on the number of units and accumulation time.
  • Properly package and label airbag waste.
  • Send the waste directly to an approved facility.
  • Comply with US DOT hazmat transportation regulations. 
  • Keep records of all offsite shipments. 

DTSC created an Airbag Waste Management webpage which provides extensive detail about how to manage airbag waste under the conditional exemption. The page provides definitions for key regulatory terms like airbag module, airbag inflator, and airbag waste, and addresses several common questions about the rule in FAQ format.

For more about the nuts-and-bolts of the regulatory and legislative process behind this rulemaking, visit DTSC’s Conditional Exemption for Undeployed Airbags webpage. 


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Sign up for the California Hazardous Waste Management online course to learn at your own pace, pause and resume to fit your schedule, and have access to training from any internet connection.

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For in-person workshops in California, expert-led webinar training, and additional online course options (including a streamlined refresher!) visit Lion.com/CA.

Tags: airbags, California, hazardous waste management

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