PROP 65 GENERALLY
Prop 65, aka the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, requires CA to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, and for businesses with 10 or more employees to provide warnings when they knowingly and intentionally cause significant exposures to listed chemicals.
NOTE: Prop 65 does not ban or restrict the sale of chemicals on the list.
NOTE: The new OEHHA regulations adopted in August 2016 took full effect in August 2018.
PROP 65 FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS PRIOR TO CHANGE
Previously, most Prop 65 warnings (safe harbor warnings) simply stated that a chemical was present that caused cancer or reproductive harm, but they did not identify the chemical or provide specific information about how a person may be exposed or ways to reduce or eliminate exposure to said chemical(s).
PROP 65 FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS AFTER CHANGE
New warnings for consumer products will say the product “can expose you to” a Prop 65 chemical rather than saying the product “contains” the chemical. It will also include:
- The name of at least one listed chemical that prompted the warning
- The internet address for OEHHA’s new Prop 65 website: P65Warnings.ca.gov, which includes additional info on health effects of listed chemicals and ways to reduce or eliminate exposure to them
- A triangular yellow warning symbol
The new warning regulation also:
- Adds new “tailored” warnings that provide more specific information for certain kinds of exposures, products, and places [See diesel engine/Veh. Repair Facilities sections below]
- Provides for website warnings for products purchased over the internet
- Provides for warnings in languages other than English in some cases [See Circumstances Requiring Warnings in Other Languages section below]
- Clarifies the roles and responsibilities of manufacturers and retailers in providing warnings [See Roles and Responsibilities section below]
Old Sample Warning:
- “WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.”
New Sample Warning:
- [Yellow triangle square] WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including arsenic, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer. For more information, go to P65Warnings.ca.gov.”
DIESEL ENGINE EXPOSURE WARNINGS PER 27 CCR § 25607.15
- “[Yellow Triangle square] WARNING: Breathing diesel engine exhaust exposes you to chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm
- Always start and operate the engine in a well-ventilated area
- If in an enclosed area, vent the exhaust to the outside
- Do not modify or tamper with the exhaust system
- Do not idle the engine except as necessary
- For more information go to P65warnings.ca.gov/diesel.”
VEHICLE REPAIR FACILITIES WARNINGS PER 27 CCR § 25607.27
- “[Yellow Triangle square] WARNING: Breathing the air in this area or skin contact with petroleum products can expose you to chemicals including benzene, motor vehicle exhaust, and carbon monoxide, which are known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. Do not stay in this area longer than necessary. For more information go to P65Warnings.ca.gov/vehicle-repair.”
WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE WARNINGS IN LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH?
When a consumer product sign, label or shelf tag used to provide a warning includes consumer information in a language other than English, the warning must also be provided in that language in addition to English. Facilities that provide signage in non-English languages would also have to provide any required warnings in those languages, in addition to English.
WARNING RESPONSIBILITIES FOR MANUFACTURERS AND RETAILERS
Manufacturers have the primary responsibility for providing Prop 65 warnings. Manufacturers can choose whether to put warning labels on their products or to provide notices to their distributors, importers or retail outlets that a product may cause an exposure to a listed chemical that requires a warning provide warning signs or other warning materials.
Manufacturers can also enter written agreements with retailers to modify this allocation of responsibility as long as the consumer receives a clear and reasonable warning before they are exposed to a Prop 65 chemical.
Retailers must confirm they received the notice and must use the warning signs or other materials provided by the manufacturer.