Proposition 65 requires warnings to be placed on any product, product packaging, or literature accompanying a product by a business who manufactures, assembles, handles, distributes, stores, sells, or transfers a consumer product that contains or may contain any of the 800-plus chemicals that OEHHA has listed. As noted above, many of the elements listed under Proposition 65 have been routinely used in everyday consumer items for years without documented harm.
A warning must be given if the listed chemical is merely present in a product unless a business demonstrates that the exposure it causes poses "no significant risk." The "no significant risk" levels established under the law present some of the most conservative public health levels in the world. With respect to carcinogens, the "no significant risk" level is defined as the level which 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.
With respect to 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. In other words, the level of exposure is below the "no observable effect level," divided by 1,000. (The "no observable effect level" is the highest dose level which has not been associated with observable reproductive harm in humans or test animals.)
Why have we placed a Proposition 65 label on some of its products?
To comply, businesses are: (1) prohibited from knowingly discharging listed chemicals into sources of drinking water; and (2) required to provide a "clear and reasonable" warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical.
A Proposition 65 warning means that the business has evaluated the exposure and has concluded that it exceeds the "no significant risk level," or that the business is providing a warning based on the presence of a "listed" chemical without actually evaluating the level of exposure.
As examples; Most Blue and Red thread lockers, like Loctite, have a listed chemical in them, that being cumene. Because no standard of dangerous exposure has been specifically developed for this chemical, beside the one stated in the paragraphs above, any product using Loctite as a thread locker must contain a warning, even if the exposure of dried thread locker is extremely low.
Carbon black is a chemical found in a number of rubber products and plastic products. It is on the list and therefore because it is difficult to measure the danger of exposure, a cautionary warning is required.
We are providing a warning based on knowledge about the presence of one or more listed chemicals without attempting to evaluate the level of exposure. While using these products, the exposure to a "listed" chemical may be well within the "no significant risk" range, but out of caution, we have placed the Proposition 65 warning labels on products and website pages.
Are consumers who are using these product with a Proposition 65 warning at risk?
The California government states: "The fact that a product bears a Proposition 65 warning does not mean by itself that the product is unsafe." The government also explained, "You could think of Proposition 65 more as a 'right to know' law than a pure product safety law."
For more information visit https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/