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California Proposition 65: Reformulation of Chemicals in Consumer Products

SafeGuardSHardgoods, Softlines, Electrical & Electronics, Automotive, Personal and Protective Equipment, Toys and Juvenile ProductsDecember 24, 2023

SG 169/23

Multiple settlements have been reached for a range of consumer products containing Prop 65 chemicals. Many of these agreements allow a Prop 65 warning 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 Californian 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. First published in 1987, the list has evolved to include approximately 900 chemicals.

In Prop 65, one important provision for companies doing business in California is to provide a clear and reasonable warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical. Unless exempt, businesses have 12 months to comply with this requirement once a chemical is listed.

In  this communication, we summarize multiple recent   settlements involving a variety of consumer goods containing the following chemicals:

It is interesting to note that there are several settlements for PFOA where the reformulation is no more than 100 ppm total organic fluorine (TOF), with warning as an alternative (Table 3). The analysis of TOF is a screening tool for the presence of PFOA. It is also worth noting that several settlements use a wipe test for the reformulation of BPA in certain goods (Table 4). Additionally, the parties in the settlement for glass water bottles with decorations agreed to reformulate both lead and cadmium (Table 2, entry 12).

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.


1BBPButyl benzyl phthalate85-68-7
2DBPDi-n-butyl phthalate84-74-2
4DIDPDi-isodecyl phthalate68515-49- 1/26761-40-0
5DINPDiisononyl phthalate---
6DnHPDi-n-hexyl phthalate84-75-3

Throughout a global network of laboratories, SGS offers comprehensive testing, product assessment and consultancy services related to California Proposition 65 to help you manage risk in your supply chain for consumer goods such as DIYs, electrical and electronics, hardgoods products, juvenile products, and textile & toy products. Contact us for more information or visit our website. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested.

© SGS Société Générale de Surveillance SA. This publication or website is a property of SGS Société Générale de Surveillance SA. All contents including website designs, text, and graphics contained herein are owned by or licensed to SGS Société Générale de Surveillance SA. The information provided is for technical and general information purposes only and offers no legal advice. The information is no substitute for professional legal advice to ensure compliance with the applicable laws and regulations. All information is provided in good faith “as is”, and SGS Société Générale de Surveillance SA makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, and does not warrant that the information will be error-free or meet any particular criteria of performance or quality.

For further information, please contact:

HingWo Tsang

Dr. HingWo Tsang

Global Information and Innovation Manager
Melanie Tamayo

Melanie Tamayo

Senior Technical Manager, SGS NA.

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