California Prop 65 Frequently Asked Questions

What is California Prop 65?

Proposition 65 is a law in California that requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about chemicals “that can cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm” as determined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).

OEHHA is responsible for maintaining the list of chemicals which has grown to over 900 items since it was first published in 1987.

Prop 65 became law in November 1986 and is officially known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.

Prop 65 prohibits anyone in the course of doing business in California or selling a product to a consumer in California to knowingly and intentionally expose any individual to a chemical, even in very minimal amounts, that the California OEHHA has added to the list, without giving a warning.

What is the purpose of a Proposition 65 warning?

The purpose of the Prop 65 warning is to provide consumers with notification that they are being exposed to listed chemicals through their products or operations that are determined by California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. However, a Prop 65 warning does not necessarily mean that a product is in violation of a safety standard, law or regulation.

Does Prop 65 apply to all products?

Prop 65 applies to all products that contain any chemicals on the list published by OEHHA and sold in California.

Why does the product I’ve bought contain a Warning?

Prop 65 requires businesses to warn consumers about products that contain chemicals identified by the state of California that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm if they are exposed to quantities of these chemicals above the limit set by California.

Why do some similar products not include warning labels?

Some products may not carry the Prop 65 warning label for a number of reasons. If the product was sold prior to when the labelling requirement went into effect, it may not include the warning label. Additionally, some companies may not include the label on products sold outside of California, since this law is only applicable to California.

Is the product safe?

A Prop 65 warning label does not mean that a product is in violation of any product safety standards or requirements, especially those covered under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

Products may contain chemicals listed on the OEHHA list that can cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm should an individual be exposed above the limits set by California.

The warning is provided so that Californians can make informed decisions about their exposures to these chemicals.

What chemicals are identified on the OEHHA list?

Over 900 chemicals are included on the OEHHA list. Further information on the allowable dosage limits can be found on the following website.

Where can I get more information?

For more information on California Prop 65, including a list of chemicals maintained by OEHHA, please access the following website.