California’s Proposition 65: What You Need to Know

What Is Proposition 65?

The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, often referred to as Proposition 65, was adopted by the State of California in response to increasing public concerns about human exposure to toxic chemicals. This legislation requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Updated annually, this list has grown to include more than 800 chemicals.

Proposition 65 mandates that all manufacturers and businesses that make or sell products in California warn consumers about significant levels of harmful chemicals found in the products they purchase, in homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. Equipped with this information, Californians are equipped to make well informed, educated decisions about lessening, or eliminating, toxic chemical exposure.

What Chemicals Are Included on the Proposition 65 List?

Updated annually, Proposition 65 includes a comprehensive list of naturally occurring or synthetic chemicals that are found to be carcinogens or are known to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Are Proposition 65 Products Safe?

While a Proposition 65 warning highlights specific chemicals that expose consumers to cancer causing or reproductive toxins that exceed defined threshold levels, it is not a regulatory decision that determines whether a product is safe or unsafe for use or consumption. This decision is left solely for the consumer to weigh the risks and rewards of exposure to a given chemical.

What Are Proposition 65 Safe Harbor Levels?

Proposition 65 safe harbor levels are chemical exposure thresholds whereas a business does not need to provide a warning or discharge prohibition because exposure falls below specific levels. For chemicals, safe harbor levels must pose “no significant risk levels” as related to causing cancer. For those chemicals known to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm, safe harbor levels must measure at or below “maximum allowable dose levels”.  If no safe harbor level exists for a chemical, a Proposition 65 warning is required.

Is Proposition 65 Effective in Reducing Chemical Exposure?

Proposition 65 has been successful in providing useful exposure information to Californians that may not have been otherwise controlled through state or federal laws. Proposition 65 also has raised public awareness of the negative effects from exposure to specific chemicals. Manufacturers have taken note and have removed many of the listed chemicals from their products. In addition, California has experienced a considerable reduction of chemical air emissions since Proposition 65 became law.

Proposition 65 and Customsigns.com

At Customsigns.com, we are committed to researching the products we purchase from our manufacturers and vendors in order to eliminate, or lessen, exposure to the chemicals listed by Proposition 65. All products being shipped to California that contain these chemicals include a warning displayed during checkout.

For additional information about Proposition 65, please visit California’s Proposition 65 website.

 

 

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