The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, also known as Proposition 65, was introduced in the state of California in 1986. Prop 65 is a California state law that requires businesses to warn consumers about certain chemicals found in products that may cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm and prohibits a company from knowingly exposing any individual to a listed chemical without first providing a “clear and reasonable warning”

The latest amendments on the Clear and Reasonable Warnings will come in to operation from August, 2018. The warning changes has created Qualms among the product manufacturers and businesses based on California region.

On August 30, 2016, OEHHA (Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment) adopted new regulations for the provision of clear and reasonable warnings. The original warning regulations will sunset on August 30, 2018. In the interim, businesses may comply with the regulations currently in effect, or the provisions of the new regulation. This will allow for a reasonable transition period for businesses to begin providing warnings under the new provisions. OEHHA’s new regulations place primary responsibility for providing warnings on product manufacturers, producers, packagers, importers, suppliers or distributors

The legislation amendments aim on making the ubiquitous warnings more meaningful to consumers.

What are the changes to Prop 65 that go into effect on August 30, 2018?

The foundation of the Proposition 65 amendments that governs warnings is set forth in the “Safe Harbor” section of the regulations.  That amendments aims on providing the specific information on the chemical(s) about how a person may be exposed or ways to reduce or eliminate exposure to it.

New Warning Requirements

  • The name of at least one listed chemical that prompted the warning
  • Link to the state’s Prop 65 internet site, which includes additional information on the health effects of listed chemicals and ways to reduce or eliminate exposure to them.
  • A triangular yellow warning symbol  on most warnings

Other significant Highlights:

  • The warning amendments adds new “tailored” warnings that provide more specific information for certain kinds of exposures, products, and places
  • Provides for website warnings for products purchased over the Internet
  • Provides for warnings in languages other than English in some cases
  • Clarifies the roles and responsibilities of manufacturers and retailers in providing warnings. 

Difference between current warning and new warning: 

Before After
 “WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.”  “WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including arsenic, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer. For more information, go to”

List of chemicals under Prop 65:

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has published full list of chemicals covered under Proposition 65 regulation. The list contains a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that are known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. Current Preposition 65 list contains more than 900 chemicals under the regulation.

Exemption cases of Prop 65:

Businesses with less than 10 employees and government agencies are exempt from Proposition 65’s warning requirements and prohibition on discharges into drinking water sources.

Businesses are also exempt from the warning requirement and discharge prohibition if the exposures they cause are so low as to create no significant risk of cancer or are significantly below levels observed.

How Can We Help?

The Proposition 65 regulations are complex and more prohibitive. Liability risks are significant. The law’s impact on litigation and liability issues remains to be seen, and is a subject of debate.

APA helps customers in bringing a comprehensive compliance solution by assessing the supply chain to meet the prop 65 regulation requirements and makes sure they are in compliance to avoid Prop 65 claims.


  • Strategy development and compliance plan
  • Software solution to track the substances in products & print relevant labels, analytics, reports.
  • Bill of Materials and Bill of Substance Review
  • Supply chain analysis/data collection/ Gathering of vendor disclosure letters
  • Training and awareness
  • Ongoing Compliance by audits
  • Product Compliance Testing, Chemical Testing and Analysis
  • Handling the legal suites and preparing Prop 65 related positional statements for your company (i.e., in relation to providing arguments against the listing of a chemical on the Proposition 65)