California Proposition 65 Reformulation of Lead in Consumer Products
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
California Proposition 65 (Prop 65 ) 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  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  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  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|
|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)|
|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
|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|
|≤ 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|
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. However, due to the unique nature of Prop 65, companies wishing to avoid litigation are advised to use the reformulated concentration limits as a reference.
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:
Global Information and Innovation Manager
t: +852 2774 7420
Stay on top of regulatory changes within your industry: subscribe to SafeGuardS!
Read more articles for the Consumer Goods and Retail industry© SGS Group Management SA - 2018 - All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS, except for 3rd parties’ contents submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties contents. This publication is intended to provide technical information and shall not be considered an exhaustive treatment of any subject treated. It is strictly educational and does not replace any legal requirements or applicable regulations. It is not intended to constitute consulting or professional advice. The information contained herein is provided “as is” and SGS does not warrant that it will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. Do not quote or refer any information herein without SGS’s prior written consent.