SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 181/16

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A number of Prop 65 settlements involving DEHP have been reached for a wide variety of products.  The parties in these settlements agreed to reformulate DEHP to less than or equal to 0.1%. Some of the settlements also allow the use of a Prop 65 warning.

California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) [1] is the “Safe and Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986’, a ballot initiative passed overwhelmingly by California residents in November 1986.  The law is now 30 years old and has been effective in reducing exposures to toxic chemicals. Since its enactment, there have been numerous lawsuits which resulted in the reduction of carcinogenic and reproductive chemicals by requiring reformulation and/or labeling.

In August 2016, the Office of Administrative Law approved [2] the proposed amendment from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). The amendment contains new and revised language for a clear and reasonable warning. In particular, the warning must include a warning symbol in the form of an equilateral triangle with an exclamation mark. This is followed by the word WARNING. This new law will become effective on August 30, 2018.

Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), also known as bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (CAS 117-81-7), has been on the Prop 65 list [3] of chemicals since January 1, 1988 as a chemical known to cause cancer. Since January 1989, businesses have been required to provide a clear and reasonable warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to DEHP. DEHP has also been listed as a chemical known to cause developmental toxicity and male reproductive toxicity since October 2003.

In the second quarter of 2016, there were a number of Prop 65 settlement agreements requiring the reformulation of DEHP in a variety of products, including archery bows, booster cable clamps, compact mirrors, extreme duty tarps, exercise armbands, eye shadow compacts, floor protectors, eyelash curlers, headphones, lanterns, nose trimmers and back scratchers, pressure washer pump savers, stools, sports armbands. Other settlement agreements include vinyl/PVC components in art case handles, chairs, fuel pump nozzles, handheld exercise weights, and covered lap top cushions, supports and pads. Some of these settlements allow the use of a Prop 65 label as an alternative. 

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.

Highlights of these settlement agreements for DEHP are summarized in Table 1. 

Entry Product Reformulation for DEHP/Warning
1 Archery bows with vinyl/PVC Grip < 0.1% otherwise warning
2 Booster cable clamps with viny/PVC grip ≤ 1000 ppm
3 Compact mirrors/makeup mirrors with vinyl/PVC component ≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
4 Extreme duty tarps ≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
5 Exercise armbands with vinyl/PVC straps ≤ 0.1% otherwise warning
6 Eye shadow compacts with vinyl or PVC components ≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
7 Floor protectors ≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
8 Eyelash curlers with vinyl grips/comparable eyelash, eye care, brow trim, brow tool, and nail care products and kits with vinyl components ≤ 1000 ppm
9 Headphones with PVC/vinyl components < 0.1% otherwise warning
10 Lanterns ≤ 0.1%
11 Nose trimmers and back scratchers with plastic grip ≤ 0.1%
12 PVC sock boots (Vehicle) ≤ 1000 ppm
13 Pressure washer pump savers ≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
14 Stools with vinyl/PVC upholstery < 0.1% otherwise warning
15 Sports armbands ≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
16 Vinyl/PVC art case handles ≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
17 Vinyl/PVC fuel pump nozzles with grips ≤ 1000 ppm
18 Vinyl/PVC handheld exercise Weights ≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
19 Vinyl/PVC chairs < 1000 ppm
20 Vinyl/PVC covered lap cushions and/or supports and pads ≤ 1000 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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