SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 184/16

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A number of Prop 65 settlements involving lead have been reached in a wide variety of products. Many of the settlement agreements allow reformulation or the use of a Prop 65 warning as an alternative while some settlements just require 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.

The Prop 65 list of chemicals contains a large number of substances that are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects and/or reproductive harm. Of these 800 or so chemicals, lead-containing consumer products [3] have been consistently targeted since its listing as a chemical that is known to cause developmental toxicity in males and females in February 1987. [4]

Since the second quarter of 2016, there have been a number of Prop 65 settlement agreements requiring the reformulation of lead content, lead migration and/or releasable lead in a variety of products, including books, brass cooler drains, brass flanges and fittings, brass numbers, can tap valves, craft wires, drain grates, fuel fittings, galvanized steel chain link fence frameworks and gates, galvanized wires and fasteners, gas stoves with brass valve, gas test gauges, laundry faucets, leaded ceramic tableware, mugs, napkin rings, plumbing supplies, pressure gauges, recycled vinyl record products, rubber shoe accessories, sprinklers, stabilizing receiver pins, tablet computer stands/supports, temperature senders and vacuum pressure gauges. Some of these settlements allow the use of a Prop 65 warning as an alternative while some require the use of a Prop 65 warning. 

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 lead are summarized in Table 1.

Entry Product Reformulation for lead/Warning
1 Books with vinyl or PVC covers ≤ 90 ppm
2 Brass cooler drains and other brass products designed for evaporative cooler pads, pumps, motors, accessories ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
3 Brass flanges and fittings ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
4 Brass numbers Prop 65 warning
5 Can tap valves ≤ 0.01% otherwise warning (exposed brass or other metal components)
6 Craft wires ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
7 Drain grates ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
8 Fuel fittings ≤100 ppm lead otherwise warning
9 Galvanized steel chain link fence frameworks and gates ≤ 90 ppm (paints or surface coatings)
≤ 200 ppm (PVC)
≤ 300 ppm (other materials or components)
10 Galvanized wires and fasteners ≤ 0.03% otherwise warning for galvanizing solution
Prop 65 warning for product
11 Gas stoves with brass valve ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning (exposed brass valves or other metal components)
12 Gas test gauges ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
13 Laundry faucets ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
14 Leaded ceramic tableware, including but not limited to, plates, spoons, cups, bowls, mugs and tumblers intended for the service or storage of food or beverages ≤ 0.226 ppm otherwise warning (flatware)
≤ 0.1 ppm otherwise warning (hollowware)
15 Mugs with brass handles ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
16 Mugs with exterior designs

≤ 90 ppm and
< 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100)

No detectable lead (lip and rim, upper 20 mm of product)

17 Napkin rings Prop 65 warning
18 Plumbing supplies, including but not limited, to diverter stems Prop 65 warning
19 Pressure gauges ≤ 0.03% otherwise warning (exposed brass or other metal components)
20 Recycled vinyl record products, including coasters and diaries Prop 65 warning
21 Rubber shoe accessories ≤ 100 ppm
22 Sprinklers ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
23 Stabilizing receiver pins ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
24 Tablet computer stands/supports ≤ 100 ppm and
< 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100) otherwise warning
25 Temperature senders Prop 65 warning
26 Vacuum pressure gauges ≤ 0.01% otherwise warning (exposed brass or other metal components)

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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