Proposition 65 – New Requirements

Proposition 65 Update

  1. Ethylene Glycol Added as a Listed Chemical

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has added Ethylene Glycol (ingested) (CAS No. 107-21-1) to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity for purposes of Proposition 65.    Ethylene Glycol is the an ingredient in antifreeze, deicing fluids, windshield washer, surface coatings, surfactants, emulsifiers and other products.

The listing of this chemical is based on formal identification by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), finding that Ethylene Glycol causes reproductive toxicity (developmental endpoint) at high oral doses.

The documentation supporting the OEHHA determination to list Ethylene Glycol is posted on OEHHA’s website.  Click this link:  http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/CRNR_notices/admin_listing/intent_to_list/041114NOILethyleneglycol.

  1. New Prop 65 Warning Label Requirements on the Horizon

The stated purpose of Proposition 65 is to notify consumers that they are being exposed to chemicals that are known to cause cancer and/or reproductive toxicity. Consumers can then decide if they want to purchase or use the product.

Proposition 65 applies to exposures to listed chemicals.  A  “consumer products exposure” is an exposure that results from a person’s acquisition, purchase, storage, consumption, or other reasonably foreseeable use of a consumer good, or any exposure that results from receiving a consumer service. The law requires that a person in the course of doing business, who manufactures, produces, assembles, processes, handles, distributes, stores, sells, or otherwise transfers a consumer product which he or she knows to contain a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity in an amount that requires a warning must provide a warning to any person to whom the product is sold or transferred unless the product is packaged or labeled with a clear and reasonable warning.

Under the existing regulations, a warning is “clear” if it includes a general warning statement.  For consumer products that contain a chemical known to the state to cause cancer, the current regulations prescribe the following warning:

“WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.”

For consumer products that contain a chemical known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity, the current regulations prescribe the following warning:

“WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

The Prop 65 regulations were adopted over 25 years ago and communication technology has progressed.  The OEHHA has proposed new regulations to add greater specificity and requirements for warning labels.

The proposed regulations will require, among other things:

  • Use of a yellow triangle pictogram containing an exclamation point to denote the warning;
  •  of the word WARNING in capital letters and bold print;
  • A more unequivocal warning statement indicating that the product “can expose” a user to chemicals known to the state to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm, as opposed to the current language, which specifies that the product or facility “may contain” chemicals;
  • Listing particular chemicals in the warning if they are among a group of 12 that OEHHA has identified;
  • Adding a URL to all warnings linking to a public website that OEHHA will operate to provide information supplementing the warning for any interested party; and
  • Presenting the warning in additional languages if the product label otherwise displays them for any other purpose (in French for Canadian products and often in other languages for free trade purposes).The new warning regulations would be phased in over two years. The OEHHA proposed changes would also require warning for food products. However, the warning pictogram would not be required for food products.   Additionally, the proposed regulations set forth requirements for other products and exposure areas, such as prescription drugs, dental products, raw wood, furniture products, diesel engines, passenger vehicles, parking facilities, amusement parks, petroleum products, service stations, vehicle repair stations, and designated smoking areas.

The proposed regulations are available here:  http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/CRNR_notices/WarningWeb/pdf/ProposedArticle6_strikethrough.pdf

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