California Proposition 65
Proposition 65, officially the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, is a law that requires warnings be provided to California consumers when they might be exposed to chemicals identified by California as causing cancer or reproductive toxicity. The warnings are intended to help california consumers make informed decisions about their exposures to these chemicals from the products they use. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) administers the Proposition 65 program and publishes the listed chemicals, which includes more that 850 chemicals. In August 2016, OEHHA adopted new regulations, effective on August 30, 2018, which change the information required in Proposition 65 warnings.
We are providing the following warning for products linked to this page:
WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Businesses are required to warn consumers if they are exposed - meaning the product contains a listed chemical, even if the amount of exposure is perfectly safe and poses no health hazard or risk, leading to confusion and unnecessary alarm.
Opponents of Prop 65 argue that its warning requirement imposes unnecessary and costly mandates on businesses, rather than serving the public health. After 30 years, recent data issued by California’s Attorney General suggest that more than 70% of the money exchanged under Prop 65 in court settlements goes to law firms.
Because Prop 65 requires warning labels or signage whenever exposure could cause more than “one excess case of cancer in 100,000 individuals exposed to the chemical over a 70-year lifetime,” there is no real way for consumers to understand their actual exposure risk.
California’s Proposition 65 requires warnings labels on products or places of business that may expose consumers to any one of roughly 900 carcinogens and reproductive toxins. But as the American Cancer Society notes, “not every compound labeled as a possible cancer-causing substance has been proven to the worldwide scientific community to actually cause cancer.”