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A number of Prop 65 settlement agreements and judgments have been reached for lead and phthalates in a variety of products. Many of these allow a Prop 65 warning as an alternative.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 070/19

assorted colorful screwdrivers

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. This unique right-to-know law 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 now evolved to approximately 900 chemicals. Among this list of chemicals, lead was listed in 1987, BBP, DBP and DnHP (2005), DEHP (1988), DIDP (2007) and DINP (2013).

Unless specifically exempted, companies doing business in California have been required to provide ‘a clear and reasonable warning’ before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a list chemical. This provision becomes effective 12 months after a chemical has been listed.

Since its enactment, there have been multiple Prop 65 lawsuits which resulted in the reduction of toxic chemicals, including lead and phthalates, through reformulation of consumer products.

A number of Prop 65 settlements and judgments have been reached for lead and phthalates in a wide variety of consumer products. These include bags and accessories, DIY, tools and hardware products, electrical accessories and office supply products. Highlights of these are summarized in Table 1.

Entry Scope Reformulation/Warning for Lead and Phthalates
1 Bags ≤ 100 ppm lead
≤ 1,000 ppm each of BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP, DINP and DnHP otherwise warning
2 Book covers ≤ 100 ppm lead
≤ 1,000 ppm each of BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP, DINP and DnHP otherwise warning
3 Electrical components and accessories (outlets) ≤ 90 ppm lead, and
≤ 1.0 µg releasable lead (NIOSH 9100)
≤ 1,000 ppm DEHP otherwise warning
4 Flashlights ≤ 90 ppm lead, and
≤ 1.0 µg releasable lead (NIOSH 9100)
≤ 1,000 ppm DEHP otherwise warning
5 Hammer ≤ 100 ppm each of lead and DBP
≤ 1,000 ppm DEHP otherwise warning
6 Imitation leather, vinyl or PVC steering wheels or steering wheel covers < 100 ppm lead
< 0.1% each of DEHP and DINP
7 Screwdrivers ≤ 100 ppm leads
≤ 1,000 ppm DEHP otherwise warning
8 Security products, including but not limited to padlocks, U-shackle locks, foldable locks, bicycle locks, motorbike locks, cable locks, bicycle frame locks, lock chains, keys and key blanks, component security products, cables, security boxes and lock holders ≤ 300 ppm lead for exposed brass or other metal components
≤ 1,000 ppm each of BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP, DINP and DnHP otherwise warning
9 Vinyl/PVC Cords < 100 ppm lead
< 0.1% each of BBP, DBP, DEHP, DIDP, DINP and DnHP otherwise warning
10 Vinyl/PVC tools, pouches and telescopic mirrors ≤ 90 ppm lead
≤ 1.0 μg releasable lead (NIOSH 9100)
≤ 1,000 ppm DEHP otherwise warning

Table 1

Through its 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 DIY products, 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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