by Source Intelligence
on February 28, 2017
Welcome to the Source Intelligence brief overview of California Proposition 65. Today we are going to focus on 3 key items: what is California Prop 65, who is responsible for Compliance, and how to comply.
California Prop 65 is an extensive regulation that is continuously evolving to meet the demands of consumer safety. The fabric of this legislation covers a long list of chemicals published by the governor and considered by the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. This list is not static and continues to develop with newer and stricter requirements yearly to ensure consumers are being protected from hazardous chemicals. The driving force of this regulation is for companies to notify consumers with warning labels if the products they are selling or the environment that they are in contain toxic chemicals.
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has established set guidelines for safe harbor levels. Chemicals falling within the Safe Harbor Levels are considered non-threatening. If chemicals exceed the maximum safety levels, they require a warning. Two methods are employed to verify chemical toxicity: (1) No Significant Level of Risk and (2) No Observable Effect Level. A warning label is required for carcinogens unless they pose no significant level of risk. A chemical that causes reproductive harm or birth defect must fall below the no observable effect level to mitigate a warning label.
Retailers are pressured to comply with Prop 65 demands and to navigate the tiers of supply chain transparency. Brands, manufacturing, and suppliers who handle consumer products within and outside of California are primarily subject to violation rather than retailers. However, no specific establishment is exempt including online marketplaces. If a manufacturer or wholesale distributor fail to provide a fixed warning, the responsibility then falls on the retailer to utilize proper warning labels to notify consumers.
Prop 65 covers a growing list of over 800 chemicals. Products ranging from naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals, pesticides, household products, food, drugs, chemicals in manufacturing and construction, or components of chemical processes are all affected by this act and may require a warning.
There are exemptions for Prop 65. Products that have naturally occurring chemicals such as citrus fruit and tomatoes are exempt. If products maintain chemicals that fall below the maximum safety level, meaning they pose no significant threat of cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm, they are also exempt.
There are currently three methods of legal enforcement used for this proposition: the California Attorney General’s Office, a district attorney, or a city attorney. There is a provision within Prop 65 that allows for a public suit where individuals and consumer advocacy groups can file a lawsuit.
When a chemical is added to the Prop 65 list, a company as a grace period of 12 months to comply with adding a warning label. In general, companies must continuously check updates to this changing regulation to ensure chemical compliance.
What is the best way to comply with Prop 65? You first have to understand what makes up the products you sell. The best way to do this is to collect that data from your suppliers. Once you know all of the materials, ingredients, and chemicals that go into your products, you can cross-reference this with the Prop 65 list. If Prop 65 chemicals are present, you will need to provide the appropriate warning labels. Later, you may choose to restrict these chemicals completely from your products.
Source Intelligence lets you collect supply chain data on all of your products. You can then compare your products with the list of over 800 chemicals covered by Prop 65. We’ll alert you to any changes to Prop 65. Our platform makes the daunting task of Prop 65 compliance straightforward and cost-effective.
In summary, what is California Prop 65? Prop 65 is a law intended to help Californians make informed decisions about protecting themselves from chemicals known to cause harm. Who is responsible for compliance? California Prop 65 covers retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers who handle consumer products within and outside of California. How to comply? Collect information from your supply chain on the contents of the product you sell. Thank you for your attention. For more information, please go to sourceintelligence.com.