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SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 083/16

SafeGuardS Hazard warning sign

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) released a notice on March 25, 2016 with modifications to its proposed revisions to the Proposition 65 (Prop 65) warning label regulations. OEHHA will accept written comments on the amendments to the proposed regulation until April 11, 2016.

Over the past year, OEHHA issued a withdrawal notice to repeal and revise its previously proposed rulemaking published in January 2015 with a new proposed regulation for Article 6 on “Clear and Reasonable Warnings” under Prop 65. Here, further modifications were made by OEHHA because a number of substantive and clarifying changes were added to the proposed regulatory language after reviewing oral and written comments from the public that were submitted in response to the November proposal.

Article 6 includes “safe harbor” definitions and establishes specific means that businesses may employ to assure that they satisfy Prop 65. If enacted, the updated proposed regulations would have an impact on the method of transmission, the content of the warning and responsibilities of manufacturers and retail sellers. The regulations would be effective two years after date of approval. During the interim two-year period, businesses would have the option of using either the old or the new warning language.

Among the topics affected by the proposed modifications to the regulatory text are:

  • Definitions of a “clear and reasonable” warning

  • New provision of “supplemental information” that may be provided in a warning – to the extent that it explains the source of the exposure or provides information on how to avoid or reduce exposure to the identified chemical or chemicals. Such supplemental information may not be substituted for the warning.

  • Clarification on situations of when a warning is required where there is exposure to different toxicity endpoint(s)

  • “Warning” requirements for internet purchased products

  • Foreign language requirements in labeling

The updated proposal specifics the following warning language content that is deemed clear and reasonable:

  • Inclusion of a warning symbol consisting of a black exclamation point in a yellow equilateral triangle with a bold black outline, which shall be placed to the left of the text of the warning and is no smaller than the height of the word “WARNING”.  In case the sign, label or labeling for the product is not printed using the color yellow, the symbol may be printed in black and white.
  • The word “WARNING” in all capital letters and bold print; and 
  • For exposures to listed carcinogens, the words, “This product can expose you to chemicals such as [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause cancer. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/product.”
  • For exposures to listed reproductive toxicants, the words, “This product can expose you to chemicals such as [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/product.
  • For exposures to both listed carcinogens and reproductive toxicants, the words, “This product can expose you to chemicals such as [name of one or more chemicals] which is [are] known to the State of California to cause cancer, and [name of one or more chemicals] which is [are] known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/product.”
  • For exposures to a chemical that is listed as both a carcinogen and a reproductive toxicant, the words, “This product can expose you to chemicals such as [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] 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/product.”

The full text of the “Notice of Modification to Text of Proposed Regulation” is available on the OEHHA website.

Related Article: SGS- Safeguards 001/16

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:

Louann Spirito
Director Technical Support, Softlines
t: +1 973 461 7919

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