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California Proposition 65: Reformulation of Lead in Consumer Goods

SafeGuardSHardgoods, Hardgoods, Hardgoods, Hardgoods, HardgoodsJanuary 18, 2022

Several Prop 65 settlements have been reached for goods containing lead. These agreements 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. It 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 more than 900 chemicals.

Lead has been listed as a chemical known to cause birth defects and reproductive harm since 1987, and cancer since 1992. 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 since February 1988.

In this communication, several settlements involving consumer products containing lead are summarized in Table 1. It is interesting to note that the parties in entries in 1-3 and 5 agreed to releasable lead as part of the settlement agreement. Furthermore, the settlement in entry 6 reformulates di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7) and di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP, CAS 84-74-2) in additional to lead as part of the agreement. Additionally, all these settlements allow a Prop 65 warning as an alternative.




1Ceramic planters with exterior designs ≤ 90 ppm lead and ≤ 1 μg lead (NIOSH 9100), otherwise warning
2Desk organizers with brass components≤ 90 ppm lead, and ≤ 1.0 μg lead (NIOSH 9100), otherwise warning

Exterior designs on:

  • Ceramic pencil cups
  • Ceramic paper clip trays
  • Ceramic photo frames
≤ 1 μg lead (NIOSH 9100) otherwise warning
4Garden hoses≤ 100 ppm lead otherwise warning
5Holiday decor bells with exterior decorations≤ 90 ppm lead and ≤ 1 μg lead (NIOSH 9100), otherwise warning
6Rubber couplings (flexible couplings)≤ 100 ppm lead, and
≤ 1000 ppm each of DEHP and DBP, otherwise warning

Table 1

Throughout a global network of laboratories, SGS offers comprehensive testing, product assessment and consultancy services related to California Proposition 65 to help you manage risk in your supply chain for consumer goods such as DIYs, electrical and electronics, hardgoods products, juvenile products, and textile & toy products. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Contact us for more information or visit our website.

For inquiries, please contact:

Dr. Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
t: (+852) 2774 7420 

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