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Several Prop 65 settlements have been reached for a variety of products. Some of these require a warning as part of the agreement.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 117/18

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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 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 has evolved to more than 860 chemicals.

Unless specifically exempted, companies doing business in California are required to provide ‘a clear and reasonable warning’ before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical. Once a chemical is listed, companies have twelve months to comply with this provision.

Several Prop 65 settlement agreements involving bisphenol A (BPA), carbon monoxide, di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), lead, soot and wood dust have been reached for a variety of products. Highlights of these are summarized in Table 1. It is interesting to note that the parties in entry 4 agreed to reformulate both lead content and releasable lead in vinyl/PVC shoulder strap pads.

Entry Scope Reformulation/Warning for Chemicals
1 Charcoal grills and hibachis Warning for carbon monoxide
2 Firewood Warning for carbon monoxide, soot and wood dust
3 Polycarbonate bowls BPA-free otherwise warning
4 Vinyl/PVC shoulder strap pads < 0.1% DEHP, < 90 ppm lead and < 1.0 μg lead (NIOSH 9100)

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.

Next step:

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:

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

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