California Proposition 65 Reformulation of Chemicals in Consumer Products
SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 113/17
A number of Prop 65 settlement agreements have been reached for a variety of products. Some of these allow a warning label as an alternative.
California Proposition 65 (Prop 65 ) is the ‘Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986’, a ballot initiative passed overwhelmingly by California residents in November 1986. It requires the state to publish a list of chemicals  that are known to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm. The list was first published in 1987 and is updated at least once a year.
Prop 65 places two important provisions for companies doing business in California. These are:
- Providing a clear and reasonable warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical. Once a chemical is listed, businesses have 12 months to comply with this requirement. The new and revised language for a clear and reasonable warning  will become effective on August 30, 2018.
- Prohibiting from knowingly discharging a listed chemical into sources of drinking water. Once a chemical is listed, businesses have 20 months to comply with this requirement.
Businesses with less than 10 employees and government agencies are exempt from these 2 provisions. Businesses are also exempt from these provisions if the exposures create no significant risk of cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
The Prop 65 list contains approximately 800 chemicals, including bisphenol A (BPA), heavy metals, phthalates, flame retardants and a variety of organic and inorganic chemicals. Since the listing of lead in February 1987, it has been consistently targeted in a wide variety of consumer products. Over the years, cadmium, phthalates and flame retardants have also been consistently targeted.
Since Q4 of 2016, there have been a number of Prop 65 settlements requiring the reformulation of certain Prop 65 chemicals and/or providing a Prop 65 warning label in a wide variety of products.
Highlights of these settlement agreements are summarized in Table 1. 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.
|Item||Scope||Reformulation of chemical/Warning|
|1||Mug products with exterior designs||
Exterior decorations, exclusive of lip and rim
Interior decorations, and lip and rim area
|2||PVC Rainwear and rainwear||≤ 1000 ppm each of DBP, DEHP, DIDP, DINP and DnHP & ≤ 25 ppm TCEP otherwise warning|
Voltage tester cords and solder
|4||Water bottles made of polycarbonate plastic||Water bottles to be made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or another material that is not made of polycarbonate (PC) and does not contain BPA|
|5||Wood-burning outdoor heating products||Prop 65 warning for exposure to carbon monoxide|
|1||BBP||85-68-7||Butyl benzyl phthalate|
|6||DIDP||68515-49-1 / 26761-40-0||Di-isodecyl phthalate|
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.
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