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A Proposition 65 settlement agreement has been reached for BPA in polycarbonate dishware. The parties in the settlement agreed to reformulate BPA or provide a Prop 65 warning as an alternative.

SAFEGUARDS | Hardgoods & Food NO. 037/17

SafeGuardS Crab Spread and Bisque with Wine

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. It requires the State to publish a list of chemicals [2] that are known to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm. The list was first published in 1987 and is updated at least once a year.

Prop 65 [3] places two important provisions for companies doing businesses in California. These are:

  • Providing a clear and reasonable warning [4] 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 exempt from these 2 provisions. Businesses are also exempt from these provisions if the exposures create no significant risk of cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Prop 65 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 reformulations of consumer products containing such chemicals. Of the 800 or so listed chemicals, consumer products containing flame retardants, lead and phthalates have been consistently targeted over the years.

In May 2015, we [5] informed you that California relisted bisphenol A (BPA) on the Prop 65 list of chemicals as a chemical known to cause female reproductive toxicity [6]. Once BPA was listed, there were two important requirements for companies doing business in California:

  • They had until May 11, 2016 to provide a ‘clear and reasonable warning’ before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to BPA.

  • They had until January 11, 2017 to prohibit the discharge of BPA into sources of drinking water.

In February, 2017 a Prop 65 settlement agreement requiring the reformulation of BPA in polycarbonate dishware, including but not limited to polycarbonate wine glasses was reached. This settlement also allows 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 the settlement are summarized in Table 1.

Substance Product Reformulation/Warning
BPA Polycarbonate dishware, including but not limited to polycarbonate wine glasses ≤ 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:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Hardlines Information and Innovation Manager
t: +852 2774 7420

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