What is California Proposition 65 (also known as “Prop 65”)?
Prop 65 is a California Law that requires businesses to warn Californians about certain chemicals in the environment and/or consumer goods. Also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Prop 65 was designed to assist California residents to make informed decisions about the products they purchase and the impact on their health. Warnings are based on a list of chemicals published by the State of California (over 850 to date) which may pose an increased risk of cancer and/or reproductive harm if minimum exposure levels, also known as Safe Harbor levels, are exceeded. These warnings are widespread within California and can be found across many industries including food and beverage sales, clothing sales, furniture sales, automotive repair, etc..
How does Infinite Electronics determine which products receive this warning?
Infinite Electronics Product Managers have reviewed our vast offerings and determined which products receive Prop 65 warnings based on our knowledge about the presence of one or more listed chemicals and the likely method of exposure for the product’s intended and foreseeable use. Exposure level calculations are complex and due to the very large number of products we sell, individual product exposure level calculations are considered prohibitive for our business model. Therefore, a conservative approach was taken without attempting to evaluate the exact levels of exposure in any given product. Out of an abundance of caution, Infinite Electronics provides the warning for all products that contain Prop 65 listed chemicals within its surface layer and are likely to be frequently handled. Because of this conservative approach, exposure levels for products with Prop 65 warnings may be well below the Safe Harbor Levels, or could even be zero. Many products do not receive the warnings based on past court rulings, if there are no Prop 65 listed chemicals present, if there are Prop 65 listed chemicals present but just within internal components, or the products are not frequently handled after installation.
How do the California Prop 65 warnings compare to the European Union’s chemical limits stated in RoHS and REACH?
Although there is a great deal of overlap between the California and the EU’s chemical listings, Prop 65 warnings are based on exposure levels and do not necessarily correlate with the quantity limits stated in the EU directives. Additionally, there are no restrictions imposed by Prop 65, it only requires warnings to Californians when Safe Harbor exposure levels are exceeded.
Should I be concerned about the safety of these products?
Although you should always be aware and take notice of any product warning, a Prop 65 warning does not mean that a product is unsafe. The State of California’s website states, “A Prop 65 warning does not necessarily mean that a product is in violation of any product-safety standards or requirements.” As an added precaution, Infinite Electronics recommends washing your hands after handling any item that received a Prop 65 warning.
Where can I find out more?
For more information about Prop 65, the chemicals that have been listed, and how these chemicals may impact human health, please visit the State of California’s website at http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/background/p65plain.html.