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SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 055/17

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A number of Prop 65 settlement agreements involving DINP have been reached for a variety of products. Some of these allow a Prop 65 warning label 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. 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 places two important provisions [3] for companies doing business 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. The new and revised language for a clear and reasonable warning [4] will become effective on August 30, 2018.
  • 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.

On December 12, 2013, diisononyl phthalate (DINP [5]) was added to the Prop 65 list of chemicals as a chemical known to cause cancer. This amendment took effect on December 20, 2013. Since December 20, 2014, enforcement actions against businesses that fail to warn consumers about exposure to DINP have resulted in a number of settlement agreements [6].

Since the latter part of 2016, there have been a number of Prop 65 settlement agreements requiring the reformulation of DINP and/or providing a Prop 65 warning label in a wide variety of products. 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 are summarized in Table 1.

Entry Product Reformulation for DINP/warning
1 Bean bag covers ≤ 1000 ppm
2 Disposable foam earplugs ≤ 1000 ppm
3 Drawer liners ≤ 1000 ppm
4 Folios, keyboards and USB extension cords ≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
5 Reusable wine safeguards ≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
6 Security cables and their component parts ≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
7 Tire inflators ≤ 1000 ppm otherwise warning
8 Vinyl/PVC eyelash curler grips ≤ 1000 ppm

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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