Proposed Reforms to Proposition 65 Warnings

Proposed reforms to Proposition 65 warnings are on the agenda for discussion in an upcoming public workshop scheduled by California EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) on April 14, 2014. The purpose of the proposed reform is to “reduce unnecessary litigation and require more useful information to the public on what they are being exposed to and how they can protect themselves.” The proposal would “improve the quality of Proposition 65 warnings while providing both flexibility and certainty for businesses”. The proposal would establish three (3) to five (5) minimum elements required for warnings;

  1. Use of the signal word “WARNING”
  2. Use of the word “expose” to be consistent with language in the statute
  3. The standard (Globally Harmonized System) pictogram for toxic hazards (only for consumer products other than foods, occupational and environmental warnings)
  4. Disclosure of the names of up to 12 commonly-known chemicals that require warnings; Acrylamide, Arsenic, Benzene, Cadmium, Chlorinated Tris, 1,4-Dioxane, Formaldehyde, Lead, Mercury, Phthalates, Tobacco Smoke and Toluene.
  5. A link to a new OEHHA website to allow the public to access more information relating to the warning, including additional chemicals, routes of exposure, and if applicable, any actions that individuals could take to reduce or avoid the exposure.

The proposal outlines additional points which it says would “provide the public with better information and businesses with more regulatory certainty, clarity and additional warning options”;

  • Provides an opportunity for small retailers (25 or fewer employees) to cure certain minor warning violations within 14 days and avoid any private enforcement whatsoever.
  • Incorporates alternatives such as email (for environmental exposures) as well as automated processes that may be developed in the future, while maintaining existing options such as on-product warnings and signs.
  • Includes tailored language for specific warning contexts (e.g. alcohol, drugs, medical devices, parking garages, hotels, apartments, and theme parks)
  • Businesses may propose tailored warning methods and content for specific chemicals or exposure scenarios for adoption into regulations
  • Recognizes warnings covered by existing court-approved settlements

The next steps outlined by the OEHHA are;

  • Hold pre-regulatory public workshop on April 14, 2014
  • Propose formal regulation in early summer of 2014
  • Adopt final regulation in early summer 2015
  • Develop website concurrent with regulatory process

An example of the proposed warning labels is shown below For consumer products OTHER than foods, prescription drugs, prescription medical devices or dental services shall at a minimum include the following;

For exposures to listed carcinogens
For exposure to reproductive toxins
For exposure to listed carcinogens AND reproductive toxins

Need help in better understanding Prop 65? Jacoby Solutions consultants can brief you on this issue and answer any questions related to your products. Contact us today and someone will get back to you promptly. email us at or call 866-873-7335.

Proposed changes to Prop. 65 warnings focus of upcoming OEHHA workshop

A public pre-regulatory workshop has been scheduled for July 30, 2013 by California EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to discuss “the content of a regulation that would address Proposition 65 (Prop. 65) warnings”.  If adopted as proposed it would either supplement or replace existing OEHHA regulations governing Proposition 65 warnings and conform to any statutory changes enacted.  California Governor Jerry Brown as indicated his intent to amend the law this year.

The OEHHA is considering the following changes; (a) requiring information in all warnings of the health effects which the chemical listed, how a person will be exposed and “simple information such as washing hands” on how to avoid or reduce exposure, (b) means to provide additional information concerning exposure to the chemical(s) listed through a website or other generally accessible medium.


Example of Label that would satisfy the proposed changes

Warning: Using this product will expose you to lead, a chemical known to cause cancer, birth defects and other harm to a developing baby. Wash hands after touching this product.

For more information go to:


Maker of children’s nap mats agrees to remove flame retardant chemicals

The chemical commonly known as “TDCPP” or “Tris” [Tris(1,2-dichloro-2-proply) phosphate)] is commonly used as a flame retardant in home furnishings (couches, chairs, pillows, and ottomans) as well as automotive products (seat padding, overhead liners, foams, and infant car seats). In October 2011, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) listed TDCPP as a chemical on Proposition 65 list of chemicals.Fire Retardant

At that time both Retailers and manufacturers were having to balance the competing requirements of Proposition 65 and California’s Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation, which requires furniture and children’s products to withstand igniting when exposed to an open flame for up to twelve seconds.

However, on April 15, 2013, the Center for Environmental Health reported reaching an agreement with Peerless Plastics, a company that makes children’s nap mats, requiring it to remove the flame retardant chemicals in its products by August 1, 2013.

The agreement was reached under California’s Proposition 65 (Prop. 65), which lists chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive harm and requires companies to warn consumers if their products contain such chemicals.

The center apparently initiated legal action against Peerless and more than 50 other companies earlier this year under Prop. 65 after finding that most of the company’s nap mats tested contained flame retardants. According to the center and other advocacy organizations, children are exposed to these chemicals when they leach into the air and settle in dust that children touch and ingest. See Center for Environmental Health Press Release, April 15, 2013.