SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 111/16

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California has recently added Styrene to the Prop 65 list of chemicals. Businesses have until April 22, 2017 to comply with the ‘clear and reasonable warning’ requirements.

California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) [1] is the “Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986’, a ballot initiative passed overwhelmingly by California citizens in 1986. It requires the state to maintain and update a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. The list was first published in 1987 and has now expanded to approximately 800 chemicals.

The aims of Prop 65 are to protect the State’s sources of drinking water from toxic chemicals and to reduce or eliminate exposures to these chemicals in consumer products, homes or workplaces. Prop 65 is administered by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), part of the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

On April 22, 2016, styrene was added to the Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer. The listing of styrene [2] is based on formal identification by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), that the chemical causes cancer.

At the same time OEHHA released a proposed No Significant Risk Level (NSRL) [3] of 27 micrograms per day for styrene.

Styrene is a precursor chemical that is used to create several plastics commonly used in consumer products. Examples include: Polystyrene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), and styrene acrylonitrile (SAN). These finished plastics are not the same chemical as styrene and the Prop 65 listing does not apply to the polymers. In some cases these finished plastics may contain low levels of residual styrene in the plastic.

Highlights of the listing of styrene are summarized in Table 1.

Substance Date Listed Toxicological Endpoint Proposed No Significant Risk Level Enforcement Date for Prop 65 warning

(CAS 100-42-5)

April 22, 2016 Cancer 27 µg per day April 22, 2017

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:

William Baxter
Technical Manager, Consumer and Retail

t: +01 862 233 5775

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