May 6, 2022
NAMM, as a member of a coalition comprised of the California Chamber of Commerce, the Consumer Brands Association and more than 40 other organizations and businesses to submit a comment letter to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) regarding a second proposed amendment to Proposition 65 short-form warning regulations.
OEHHA issued a second notice on April 5, 2022, seeking additional public comment on newly revised regulatory text. The revisions incorporated, at least in part, stakeholder recommendations received during the prior comment period in December 2021.
The proposed changes included:
- Striking package shape and size limitations to allow use of the short form on product labels of any size –regardless of package size and shape.
- Removing the requirement that font type size be the same as the largest type size providing consumer information. The existing rule that requires a minimum of 6-point type size for short-form warnings would remain in effect.
- Extending the originally proposed effective compliance deadline date for the new short-form warning requirements from one to two years.
NAMM and our Coalition partners responded in a formal letter to OEHHA and reiterated shared concerns regarding the timing of this proposed regulation in the midst of the pandemic and continued supply chain issues. As such, we requested that the proposed rulemaking be withdrawn.
It is probable that OEHHA will not heed the withdrawal recommendation. So, in the event that OEHHA decides to move forward with the new short-form rules, the Coalition comment letter also outlines a number of recommended modifications. These include:
- Revisions to several provisions to clarify that the listing of only a single chemical is required in the short-form warning;
- Establishment of a 36-month period to comply with the new rules; the new 24-month timeframe proposed by OEHHA is still too short especially in light of current labor shortages and disruptions in the supply chain.
It will likely take the California’s OEHHA several months to review all of the stakeholders’ comments and then to: (1) issue a final regulation; (2) issue a revised proposal and request additional public comment; or (3) withdraw the rulemaking. Of the three, withdrawal is probably the least likely.
In the meantime, NAMM recommends that businesses review, and take an inventory of, product labels that currently use the short form. Businesses will need to know what chemicals are in the products, which will entail identification of at least one chemical covered by Prop 65 for inclusion on the short-form warning.
NAMM will continue to closely monitor regulatory and other developments on Prop 65 warnings, so please check back regularly for updates.