You may have seen one of the following warnings on products or items you have purchased:
WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.
WARNING: This product contains DEHP, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects and other reproductive harm.
These warnings are a result of California’s Proposition 65. To be clear, Proposition 65 does not ban the sale of any products containing these chemicals; it only requires the warnings.
Over 800 chemicals have been listed under this California law. Prop 65 standards are among the most stringent standards in place anywhere and are often far more stringent than federal standards. You can find the list on the Proposition 65 website: http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/prop65_list/newlist.html
You should always be aware and take heed of all product warnings. Does a Prop 65 warning mean that the product will actually cause cancer or other reproductive harm when the product is used in its typical way? Not necessarily. The listing of a chemical under Prop 65 could be the result of tests on laboratory animals where the animals are fed very high levels of chemicals. Prop 65 standards are often stringent. For example, for reproductive toxicants, the level for warnings is 1000 times lower than the lowest level at which animal studies reported no reproductive health effect. A Prop 65 warning does not automatically mean that products are unsafe. While we believe our products are not harmful when used as designed, we provide the warning as a result of this California law.
It should be noted California product label warnings requirements are not usually the same as federal safety requirements. This causes a mismatch between warnings on products sold in California and what is required in the USA. So this can explain why sometimes you may see a California Prop 65 warning on a product sold in California but no warning on the same product sold elsewhere. These products are not made different; it is just that Prop 65 warnings are required by California law.
A Proposition 65 warning generally means one of two things: (1) the business has evaluated the exposure and has concluded that it exceeds the risk level as defined by the law; 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. We have chosen to provide a warning based on our knowledge about the presence of one or more listed chemicals without attempting to evaluate the level of exposure, as not all of the listed chemicals provide exposure limit requirements. With our products, the exposure may be negligible or well within the “no significant risk” range. However, out of an abundance of caution, we have elected to provide the Proposition 65 warnings.