A number of Prop 65 settlement agreements involving lead have been reached for a wide variety of products. The parties in these settlements agreed to reformulate or to provide Prop 65 warnings.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 060/17

SafeGuardS chemicals

California Proposition 65 (Prop 65 [1]) is the ‘Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986’, a ballot initiative passed overwhelmingly by Californian 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 two provisions. Businesses are also exempt 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 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 have been consistently targeted since its listing as a chemical that is known to cause developmental toxicity in males and females in February 1987.

Since the second half of 2016, there have been a number of Prop 65 settlement agreements requiring the reformulation of lead 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 lead/warning
1 Ballcock assemblies, including their components or replacement parts ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
  • Brass stops
  • Tank levers
≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
3 Brass valves ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
4 Lotion dispensers ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
5 Padlocks ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
6 Quick couplers, fittings and injectors ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
7 Brass hardware products, including but not limited to flush bolts Warning
8 Brass knockers Warning
10 Brass metal profiles and related tile edging trim products Warning
11 Coupler locks and related parts Warning
12 Light PVC window sculptures Warning
13 Mugs 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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