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SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 006/16

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The parties in these settlements have agreed to reformulate their products in order to limit the amount of certain Prop 65 chemicals contained in their products. Some of these settlements allow the use of a Prop 65 warning.

California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) [1] is the ‘Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986’, a ballot initiative passed overwhelmingly by California residents in November 1986. Since its enactment, there have been numerous lawsuits which resulted in the reduction of carcinogenic and reproductive chemicals by requiring reformulation of consumer products containing such chemicals.

Prop 65 is now more than 29 years old and has been effective in reducing exposures to toxic chemicals. Of the 850 or so listed chemicals, consumer products [2] containing lead, phthalates and flame retardants have been consistently targeted for enforcement over the years.

Since the latter half of 2015, there have been a number of Prop 65 settlements requiring the reformulation of products containing:

  • Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
  • Lead
  • Lead and its compounds
  • N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA)
  • Tris (2,3-dibromopropyl) phosphate (TDBPP)
  • Tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) or
  • Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP)

These chemicals are included in the Prop 65 list of chemicals [3] that are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, other reproductive harm or a combination of these toxicities. The types of toxicity and the date of listing for each of these 7 chemicals are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1

Chemical Acronym / Chemical symbol CAS Toxicity type Date listed
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP 117-81-7
  • Cancer
1 January 1988
  • Developmental
  • Male reproductive
24 October 2003
Lead Pb ----
  • Developmental
  • Female reproductive
  • Male reproductive
27 February 1987(updated Nov 2013)
Lead and its compounds ---- ---- Cancer 1 October 1992
N-nitrosodiethylamine NDEA 55-18-5 Cancer 1 October 1987
Tris(2,3-dibromopropyl)phosphate TDBPP 126-72-7 Cancer 1 January 1988
Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate TCEP 115-96-8 Cancer 1 April 1992
Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate TDCPP 13674-87-8 Cancer 28 October 2011

Prop 65 settlements requiring the reformulation of these 7 chemicals involved a variety of products, including beverage dispenser handles, brass whistles, candle warmers with exterior designs, coated brass products, children’s purses , condoms, farm Jacks with painted handles, hand tools, hardware accessories, plumbing repair parts, tent / shelter fabrics, upholstered fitness benches, upholstered furniture and walking sticks with vinyl/PVC grips. A Prop 65 settlement is a consent agreement between the parties named in the settlement and a party not named in a settlement is not bound by that settlement.

Highlights of these settlements are summarized in Table 2.

Table 2

Item Chemical Product Reformulation


Hand tools

≤ 90 ppm lead and

≤ 1.0 μg lead (NIOSH 9100) and

≤ 0.1% DEHP otherwise warning




Hardware accessories

(including without limitation fasteners, wire products, and hooks and hangers)

≤ 90 ppm lead and

≤ 1.0 μg lead (NIOSH 9100) and

≤ 1000 ppm DEHP otherwise warning




Walking sticks with vinyl/PVC grips

≤ 1000 ppm DEHP and

≤ 90 ppm lead otherwise warning

4 Flame retardants Tent / shelter fabrics ≤ 25 ppm each of TCEP, TDBPP and TDCPP
5 Flame retardants Upholstered furniture with foam padding ≤ 25 ppm each of TCEP, TDBPP and TDCPP
6 Lead Beverage dispenser handles

< 100 ppm and

< 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100) otherwise warning

7 Lead Brass whistles ≤ 100 ppm (alloy, solder)
8 Lead Candle warmers with exterior designs

≤ 90 ppm and

≤ 1 μg (NIOSH 9100) otherwise warning

9 Lead Children’s purses

≤ 90 ppm and

≤ 1μg (NIOSH 9100)

10 Lead Coated brass products

≤ 1.25 μg otherwise warning

11 Lead Farm jacks with painted handles

Paint or other surface coatings
≤ 90 ppm

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
≤ 200 ppm

All other components
≤ 300 ppm

12 Lead Plumbing repair parts ≤ 300 ppm otherwise warning
13 NDEA Condoms ≤ 10 ppb
14 TDCPP Upholstered fitness benches with foam padding ≤ 25 ppm

Throughout a global network of laboratories, SGS can offer comprehensive testing, product assessments and consultancy services related to California Proposition 65 to assist your risk management in your supply chain for consumer goods such as DIYs, electrical and electronics, hardgoods products, juvenile products, and textile & toy products. For further information, please visit our website.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hing Wo Tsang
Global Hardlines
t: +852 2774 7420

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