California Proposition 65 Reformulation of Phthalates in Consumer Products
SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 124/16
A number of Prop 65 Consent Decrees and/or Settlement Agreements involving certain phthalates have been reached for a wide variety of products. The parties in these settlements agreed to reformulate or to provide a Prop 65 warning.
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. Since its enactment, there have been numerous lawsuits which resulted in the reduction of carcinogenic and reproductive chemicals by reformulations of consumer products containing such chemicals.
Prop 65 places two important provisions on companies doing businesses 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
- 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 exempted from these 2 provisions. Businesses are also exempted from these provisions if the exposures create no significant risk of cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
The Prop 65 list of chemicals contains approximately 800 chemicals, of which 6 are phthalates (BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP, DINP and DNHP). These phthalates are known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, other reproductive harm or a combination of these toxicities.
Since the beginning of 2016, a number of Prop 65 Consent Decrees and/or Settlement Agreements (Settlements) for phthalates have been concluded. These settlements resulted in the reformulation of certain phthalates in bluetooth speakers, clothing apparel with graphic images, deck sprayers, handheld vacuums, media holders, plastic vacuum hoses, safety goggles, speakerphone cords, toilet seats, vacuum cleaner hoses, vinyl/PVC clamp grips, vinyl/PVC office storage and filing products, vinyl/PVC cords, vinyl/PVC suits and wine boxes with vinyl/PVC gripping components. 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 summarized in Table 1.
|Item||Product||Reformulation for Phthalates / Warning|
|1||Bluetooth speakers||≤ 1000 ppm each of DEHP, DIDP and DINP otherwise warning|
|2||Clothing apparel products, including any printed, appliquéd, dyed or other graphic images present in product||≤ 1000 ppm each of DIDP and DINP|
|3||Deck sprayers||≤ 1000 ppm each of DIDP and DINP otherwise warning|
|4||Handheld vacuums||≤ 1000 ppm each of BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP, DINP and DnHP otherwise warning|
|5||Media holders (e.g CD/DVD/Zip pockets)||≤ 1000 ppm each of DEHP and DINP otherwise warning|
|6||Plastic vacuum hoses in vacuum tool kits||≤ 1000 ppm each of DIDP and DINP otherwise warning|
|7||Safety goggles||≤ 1000 ppm each of BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP, DINP and DnHP otherwise warning|
|8||Speakerphone cords||≤ 1000 ppm each of DEHP, DIDP and DINP otherwise warning|
|9||Toilet seats||≤ 1000 ppm each of DEHP and DINP otherwise warning|
|10||Vacuum cleaner hoses||Warning for DEHP, DIDP and DINP|
|11||Vinyl/PVC clamp grips (spring clamp clips)||≤ 1000 ppm each of BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP and DINP otherwise warning|
|12||Vinyl/PVC office storage and filing products such as binders, clear report covers, file holders and hanging file folder tabs||≤ 1000 ppm each of DEHP and DINP otherwise warning|
|13||Vinyl/PVC cords||≤ 1000 ppm each of BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP and DINP otherwise warning|
|14||Vinyl sauna suits||≤ 0.1% each of DEHP and DINP|
|15||Wine boxes with vinyl/PVC gripping components||≤ 0.1% each of BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP and DINP|
Table 2: Prop 65 phthalates Definitions.
|BBP||Butyl benzyl||85-68-7||DIDP||Di-isodecyl||68515-49-1 / 26761-40-0|
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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