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California Proposition 65 Reformulation of Metals in Consumer Products

SafeGuardSHardgoods, Hardgoods, SoftlinesMarch 18, 2020

Several Prop 65 settlement agreements and judgments have been reached for lead or cadmium in a variety of products. Some of the settlements involving lead allow a Prop 65 warning as an alternative.

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. First published in 1987, the list has evolved to approximately 900 chemicals.

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 lead or cadmium since 1988.

In 2019, several Prop 65 settlements and judgments have been reached for lead or cadmium in a variety of consumer products, including pet raincoats (see Table 1). It is interesting to note that some of the entries agreed to reformulate both lead content and releasable lead, with a warning as an alternative. Additionally, the parties in entry 4 agreed to a stringent reformulation of cadmium in jewelry. 

Highlights of these settlements and judgments are summarized in Table 1.

EntryScopeUnless stated, reformulation/warning is for lead
 1Cell phone pouches≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
 2Coasters≤ 90 ppm and ≤ 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100)
 3Glass rain gauges with exterior designs
≤ 90 ppm otherwise warning
 4Jewelry sold individually or as part of a set with a dress or other piece of clothing
≤ 0.01% cadmium
≤ 90 ppm and ≤ 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100) otherwise warning
 6Lamp raisers
≤ 0.03% for metal or brass components otherwise warning
 7Napkin rings
≤ 90 ppm and ≤ 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100) otherwise warning
≤ 90 ppm and ≤ 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100) otherwise warning
 9Pet raincoats
≤ 100 ppm otherwise warning
≤ 90 ppm and ≤ 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100) otherwise warning
 11Tool pouches≤ 100 ppm and ≤ 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100) otherwise warning
 12USB cords
≤ 90 ppm and 1.0 μg (NIOSH 9100) otherwise warning

Table 1 

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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