Proposition 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, is a California law that was approved by voters in November 1986. Its primary purpose is to protect California citizens from exposure to toxic chemicals by safeguarding the state’s drinking water sources. The statute prohibits businesses from knowingly discharging listed chemicals into drinking water sources.
Proposition 65 also requires that a business selling products that contain certain identified chemicals in excess of defined levels, provide a clear and reasonable warning of the potential hazard. For many listed Proposition 65 chemicals, no warning is required on products determined not to exceed “Safe Harbor” levels of exposure. Proposition 65 is administered by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), which publishes a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects. This list is periodically updated and currently contains over 800 chemicals. The list is accessible at www.oehha.ca.gov/chemicals.
Products that require Proposition 65 warnings will be labelled in accordance with these new regulations, including identification of specific chemicals and exposure types. Specific product labels will reflect the chemical composition of the labeled product. Below is an example of a label which may appear on such product:
WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including lead, which is known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.
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