What is Prop 65?
California’s Proposition 65, officially called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was intended to help Californians make informed decisions about protecting themselves from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.
As part of the law, the state is required to publish a list of chemicals that are “known to the State of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.” The list of substances covered under Prop 65 is updated annually and now includes about 900 chemicals. In addition, Prop 65 requires businesses to control chemical discharge that can affect drinking water.
The complete list can be found on the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) website.
California Adopts Major Changes to Prop 65 Chemical Warnings
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) adopted amendments to Prop 65 in 2016, which are set to take effect August 30, 2018. These changes update the requirements for Prop 65 chemical warning labels, which lays out the criteria for what constitutes a “clear and reasonable” warning and include major changes with respect to the content and design of the warning labels. Some changes include adding a yellow triangle with a black exclamation mark pictogram, requiring more specific information about the chemicals present in the product, and displaying the P65Warnings.ca.gov web address for more information.
This will likely have a large impact on businesses in California, or businesses who sell their products in California, as they will have to reevaluate their current Prop 65 compliant warning labels and update them as necessary to comply with the amended requirements.
This regulation is enforced by the Office of the Attorney General. Businesses who are not in compliance risk penalties for violating Prop 65 are as high as $2,500 per day. In 2016, the California Attorney General’s office reached 760 settlements with businesses for Prop 65 violations and assessed $30.1 million in penalties.