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Thirteen California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) 60-day notices have been issued for bisphenol A (BPA) in a variety of electronic device cases for violation of Prop 65. These notices serve as an intent to bring legal action against the recipients.

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Two Smartphones

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 approximately 900 chemicals.

In Prop 65, one important provision for companies doing business in California is to provide a clear and reasonable warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical. Unless exempt, businesses have 12 months to comply with this requirement once a chemical is listed.

Bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) is a chemical known to cause female reproductive toxicity and has been on the Prop 65 list of chemicals since May 2015. Sources of this chemical may include thermal paper, products containing polycarbonate (PC) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics as well as epoxy coatings in cans and tins.

Since May 2016, enforcement actions against businesses that fail to warn consumers about exposure to BPA have resulted in a number of settlement agreements, including BPA in thermal receipt paper, food contact materials and articles as well as cellphone cases – the parties in the settlement for cellphone cases agreed to a reformulation of no more than 3 ppm BPA with warning as an alternative (SafeGuardS 133/18).

In October 2020, thirteen 60-day notices of violation were issued to businesses for failing to provide a clear and reasonable warning for BPA exposure from electronic device cases, including those for mobile/cell phones, earbuds, tablets, notebook computers and game consoles.

The 60-day notice of violation is a legal document that is served to businesses that have allegedly violated Prop 65 warning requirements. It usually results in settlement negotiations, which may result in the two parties having a settlement agreement with reformulation or defined concentration requirements.

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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