A number of Prop 65 settlement agreements involving lead have been reached for a variety of products. Many of these allow a prop 65 warning as an alternative.

SAFEGUARDS | Hardlines NO. 114/18

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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 and/or reproductive harm. The list was first published in 1987 and has evolved to more than 860 chemicals.

Lead [3] has been classified as a chemical known to cause reproductive toxicity since February 1987, and cancer since October 1992. 

Unless specifically exempted, companies doing business in California are required to provide ‘a clear and reasonable warning’ before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to lead since February 1988.

From August 30, 2018, businesses are required to comply with new and revised language for a clear and reasonable warning [4] for the purpose of Prop 65.

A number of Prop 65 settlements requiring the reformulation of lead and/or providing a Prop 65 warning label in a wide variety of products have been reached. Highlights of these are summarized in Table 1.

These settlement agreements include, among other things, the following:

  • Reformulations involving lead content (entries 4, 5, 8, 12, 14, 17 and 19)
  • Reformulations involving lead content and/or releasable lead (entries 1, 6, 10, 13, 16 and 20)
  • The use of Prop 65 warning labels (entries 2, 3, 7, 9, 11, 15 and 18)
  • The use of Prop 65 warning labels as an alternative to reformulation (entries 1, 4, 5, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19 and 20)
  • Pet products (entry 13)
Entry Scope Reformulation/Warning for lead
1 Anti-siphon valves (Tubes) ≤ 90 ppm, and ≤ 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100) on all surfaces, otherwise warning
2 Brass inserts Warning
3 Calipers Warning
4 Collets ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
5 Couplers ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
6 Dishes with exterior designs ≤ 90 ppm and ≤ 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100)
7 Drum faucets Warning
8 Electrical tapes < 100 ppm
9 Galvanized hardware cloths Warning
10 Glassware with exterior designs

≤ 90 ppm and ≤ 1 μg (NIOSH 9100) for exterior decorations, exclusive of lip and rim

≤ 25 ppm for interior decorations and lip and rim

11 Hose adapters Warning
12 Hot water cartridges ≤ 0.03% otherwise warning for exposed brass or other metal components

LED dog leashes

LED dog collars

≤ 100 ppm or ≤ 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100) otherwise warning
14 Metal combination squares ≤ 0.01% otherwise warning
15 Outlet box valves Warning
16 Safety LED armbands ≤ 100 ppm or ≤ 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100) otherwise warning
17 Shower valves ≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
18 Valves Warning

Pressure gauges

Water gauges

≤ 300 ppm otherwise warning
20 Wires, converters, batteries, battery packs and accessories for such devices ≤ 100 ppm and < 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100) otherwise warning

Table 1

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.

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 Information and Innovation Manager
t: +852 2774 7420

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