In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative became the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as Proposition 65.
Proposition 65 requires the State of California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. This list, which must be updated at least once a year, has grown to include over 900 chemicals since it was first published in 1987. Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide Californians with a clear and reasonable warning about chemicals in the products they purchase, in their home or workplace, or that are released into the environment. By providing this information, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about protecting themselves from exposure to these chemicals. Proposition 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water.
The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) administers the Proposition 65 program. OEHHA, which is part of the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA), also evaluates all currently available scientific information on substances considered for placement on the Proposition 65 list.
What This Means for You
While the proposition was created to protect drinking water sources from chemical contamination, the scope of the law has expanded over the years. It now includes over 900 chemicals and also pertains to (but is not limited to) exposure through touch, inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact.
The Proposition 65 warning can now be found on products that may contain a small amount of over 900 chemicals or ingredients that the OEHHA lists as a carcinogen or reproductive toxicant. This includes vinyl, coatings, plastics, and much more.
Many of the elements listed under Proposition 65 are common everyday additives found in products like electrical wire, cable, coated fabrics, steering wheels, shoes, gloves, tonneau covers, bed liners, oil filter wrenches, brake pads, floor mats, etc.
Because of the vast array of products that might contain one of the chemicals or ingredients on the list, we must include Proposition 65 warnings in our communications with you. We are required to use exact wording as specified by the state of California.
While the warning sounds alarming, the purpose is to notify you of the potential risk so that you can make an informed buying decision.
Please follow this link to learn more about Proposition 65.
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