The California Proposition 65 regulations grew out of a desire to inform the people of California of hazardous substances in products that they consume or come in contact with. This was enacted in 1986 as the Safe Water and Toxic Enforcement Act when voters approved it by a 63-37 percent margin.
Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. The act created the Proposition 65 chemicals list, which lists all substances currently known to the state of California which cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. The list is revised and republished at least once per year and currently contains over 900 chemicals.
The act requires that the manufacturer provide warnings to the consumer using signs, notices, menu stickers, or labels. The text of the 1986 regulation specified the following text for these warnings:
These warnings have been updated, effective on August 30, 2018, to provide a more concise and clear statement of hazards like:
The updated warnings have the following new features:
- It includes the new “explanation point” warning symbol
- It specifies the word WARNING to be shown in bold print, and
- It includes inclusion of the name of one or more chemicals which cause the specific hazard listed.
The regulation also includes the ability to use a “short-form” warning on the product label which has the features above, but the wording is truncated and the listing of chemical contributing to the hazard are not required:
In the “standard” ProductVision Safety Data Sheet format for the US, the California Proposition 65 warning are shown in Section 15 of the Safety Data Sheet using the following format:
The offending chemicals are listed separately, fulfilling the requirement to list them, in a way that works better for Safety Data Sheets and for products which may have several carcinogens and/or reproductive toxicants.