SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 117/16

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A number of Prop 65 Consent Decrees and/or Settlement Agreements involving lead have been reached for a wide variety of products. The parties in these settlements agreed to reformulate or to provide Prop 65 warnings.

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 reformulation of consumer products containing such chemicals.

The Prop 65 list of chemicals contains a large number of chemicals that are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm. Of these 800 or so chemicals, lead-containing consumer products [2] have been consistently targeted since its listing as a chemical that is known to cause developmental toxicity in males and females in February 1987.

Since the beginning of 2016, a number of Prop 65 Consent Decrees and/or Settlement Agreements (Settlements) have been concluded. These Settlements resulted in the reformulation of lead in brass closet flange replacement rings, brass replacement toilet flange rings, cap nuts, conduit bending levels, drain unclogging tools, gas welding torches, speaker wall plates and sprinkler heads. These Settlements also allowed a Prop 65 warning as an alternative. It is interesting to note that many of these Settlements involved a reformulation of no more than 100 ppm lead content, a limit value associated with lead in substrates for children’s products falling under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).

A Prop 65 settlement is a consent agreement between the parties named in the Settlement. Any party not named in a Settlement is not bound by it.

Highlights of these Settlements are summarised in Table 1.

Table 1

Item Product Reformulation for lead / Warning
  • Brass closet flange replacement rings
  • Brass replacement toilet flange rings
≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
2 Cap nuts ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
3 Conduit bending levels ≤ 0.03% for exposed brass or other metal components otherwise warning
4 Copper mugs < 100 ppm otherwise warning
5 Drain unclogging tools ≤ 100 ppm and ≤ 1 μg (NIOSH 9100) for exposed brass or other metal components otherwise warning
6 Speaker wall plates ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
7 Sprinkler heads ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning

(Gas welding equipment)

≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning

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
t: +852 2774 7420

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