SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 118/16

SafeGuardS Girl in the Rain

A number of Prop 65 Consent Decrees and/or Settlement Agreements involving DEHP have been reached for a wide variety of products. The parties in many of these settlements agreed to reformulate DEHP to certain concentrations or to provide a Prop 65 warning as an alternative.

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 [2] contains 800 or so chemicals that are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm. Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) has been classified as a chemical known to cause cancer since January 1988. [3] It has also been classified as causing reproductive toxicity since October 2003. 

DEHP is widely used as an additive in a variety of polymers, such as paint and PVC plastic formulations that are used to manufacture a variety of consumer products. It is not chemically bound to the polymer molecules and can be released from consumer products.

Since the beginning of 2016, a number of Prop 65 Consent Decrees and/or Settlement Agreements (Settlements) for DEHP have been concluded. These settlements resulted in the reformulation of DEHP in sports netting with PVC sleeves, serving trays, art cases, game cases and ponchos. Many of these Settlements also allowed a Prop 65 warning as an alternative.

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 DEHP / Warning
1 Sports netting with PVC sleeves and other
similar products (e.g. Tennis nets, Badminton nets)
≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
2 Serving trays with vinyl/PVC coverings ≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
3 Vinyl/PVC art cases ≤ 0.1% otherwise warning
4 Vinyl/PVC game cases ≤ 0.1%
5 Vinyl/PVC ponchos < 0.1% 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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