As the government and businesses begin resuming operations, there is a need to revisit previous regulations and restrictions – and re-enforce the regulations.  This can mean a whole new wave of California Proposition 65 inspections on products and businesses to make sure the standards are being met.

Manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and any business in the supply chain should look at their California Prop 65 processes to make sure they comply.

While Prop 65 has been around since the 1980s, there have been changes to the regulations that force product warning labels if an item could expose individuals to a harmful substance.   The list of harmful substances can be updated regularly, according to OEHHA (the governing body for Prop 65).  An updated version of the list was released in December 2020.

Many items contain chemicals and compounds from the Prop 65 list.  There are OVER 1,000 substances including:

● Asbestos
● Aspirin
● Benzene
● Ceramic fibers
● Ethylene glycol
● Iodine – 131
● Iron dextran complex
● Lead
● Mercury
● And many more

One of the new substances recently added is Bisphenol A (BPA).  This chemical is used with many polycarbonate plastics such as water bottles, storage containers, drain pans, pitchers, and other plastic containers.

NEW Label Changes Coming in 2021

In January 2021, OEHHA decided that the label requirements for Prop 65 are to be adjusted.  These new requirements could be implemented before the end of 2021.

According to OEHHA, the Prop 65 “safe harbor” warning label should be changed due to “widespread use of short-form warnings in ways that were not intended and do not further the purposes of Proposition 65”.

The proposed changes will limit the use of the short-form warning label to only products that have less than 5 square inches of total label space.  Also, the new label should include not only the yellow warning symbol, the word “warning”, and the website address – the label must also call out at least one chemical that applies.

For internet and online catalogs – the short “safe harbor” warning would no longer be allowed, and businesses must use the more descriptive warning.

There would be a one-year phase-in period to allow for these changes, along with a sell-through period for products that already were produced with the short form warning label. OEHHA could make the decision as early as Spring 2021.

Not sure how to check if you are ready for California Prop 65?  Let APA help you and reduce your time and effort.  Contact APA for more information today!


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