CA Prop 65: Industry-Relevant FAQs
- What Are the Most Significant Changes to the Proposition 65 Warnings For Consumer Products?
Since the original warning requirements took effect in 1988, most Proposition 65 warnings simply state that a chemical is present that causes cancer or reproductive harm, but they do not identify the chemical or provide specific information about how a person may be exposed or ways to reduce or eliminate exposure to it. New OEHHA regulations, adopted in August 2016 and that took effect on August 30, 2018, change the safe harbor warnings which are deemed to comply with the law in several important ways. For example, the new warnings for consumer products will say the product “can expose you to” a Proposition 65 chemical rather than saying the product “contains” the chemical. They will also include:
- The name of at least one listed chemical that prompted the warning
- The Internet address for OEHHA’s new Proposition 65 warnings website, www.P65Warnings.ca.gov, which includes additional information on the health effects of listed chemicals and ways to reduce or eliminate exposure to them
- A triangular yellow warning symbol on most warnings
- How Do the New Warnings Compare to the Current Warnings?
A typical current Proposition 65 warning states, “WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.” A sample new warning might look like this:
"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 www.P65Warnings.ca.gov."
- Will Businesses Be Required to Provide the New Warnings?
No. The regulation states that a business is not required to use the new safe harbor warning system to comply with the law. However, using the safe harbor warnings is an effective way for businesses to protect themselves against Proposition 65 enforcement actions. Businesses that use the safe harbor warnings are deemed compliant with the law’s requirement for clear and reasonable warnings. Businesses have the option to provide different warnings if they believe they comply with the law. Additionally, small businesses with fewer than 10 employees are exempt from Proposition 65’s warning requirements.
- Will Products Manufactured Before August 2018 Need to Use the New Warnings?
No. Products manufactured before August 30, 2018 will not need new warnings if they meet the requirements that were in effect at the time of their production.