Tell me more about Proposition 65……
The ROHO Group has recently placed the following label on all product –packaging:
WARNING: This product contains chemicals that are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Our application of this label is a direct response to the State of California’s mandate on “Proposition 65”, the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. The label by no means indicates that our products will cause you to contract cancer or reproductive harm. While we firmly believe that our products are not harmful, our products are now in compliance with California law.
What is Proposition 65?
Voters from the State of California overwhelmingly approved an initiative to address growing concerns about exposures to toxic chemicals. That initiative became the Sales Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.
Proposition 65 states that any company operating, selling or manufacturing products that may be brought into the State of California are subject to post this warning or face civil penalties of $2500 per day. Private citizens may act as bounty hunters to seek products not having appropriate warning labels and receive a percentage of the imposed fine. The violator of Proposition 65 could be the manufacturer, distributor or retailer of the offending product.
What does Proposition 65 Require?
Proposition 65 requires warning labels on any product that contain any of the 600-plus elements that the California Air Resources Board considers a carcinogen or a reproductive toxicant. These elements include lead, brass, PVC and a multitude of other everyday elements. Some of them are ingredients of common household products, others are specialty chemicals used in very specific industrial applications.
For a chemical that is listed as a carcinogen, the "no significant risk" level is defined as the level that is calculated to result in not more than one excess case of cancer in 100,000 individuals exposed over a 70-year lifetime. In other words, if you are exposed to the chemical in question at this level every day for 70 years, theoretically it will increase your chances of getting cancer by no more than 1 case in 100,000 individuals so exposed.
For chemicals that are on the list as reproductive toxicants, the no significant risk level is defined as the level of exposure which, even if multiplied by 1,000, will not produce birth defects or other reproductive harm. That is, the level of exposure is below the "no observable effect level (NOEL)," divided by 1,000. (The "no observable effect level" is the highest dose level that has not been associated with an observable reproductive harm in humans or test animals.)
When a warning is given by a business, it means one of two things:
(1) the business has evaluated the exposure and has concluded that it exceeds the no significant risk level; or
(2) the business has chosen to provide a warning simply based on its knowledge about the presence of a listed chemical, without attempting to evaluate the exposure. In these cases, exposure could be below the Proposition 65 level of concern, or could even be zero.
Since businesses do not file reports with the State regarding what warnings they have issued and why, the State is not able to provide further information about any particular warning that you may have received. The business issuing the warning is the appropriate party to contact if you seek more specific information about the warning, such as what chemicals are involved, in what manner these chemicals are present, and how exposures to those chemicals may or may not occur.
FUN FACT: The human body contains naturally occurring lead and cadmium. Both of these items can be found on the Proposition 65 formal list of elements causing birth defects or reproductive harm.
For more information about Proposition 65 visit the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment at http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/getNSRLs.html.
For a list of elements listed under Proposition 65 visit: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/prop65_list/Newlist.html
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. http://www.oehha.org/prop65/background/p65plain.html