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About California Prop 65
The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (CA Proposition 65) was enacted in California as a ballot initiative in November 1986. It states: “No person in the course of doing business shall knowingly and intentionally expose any individual to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity without first giving clear and reasonable warning to such individual.”
The Act requires a prior warning that discloses that the product, area, or workplace may expose a person to a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Prop 65 warning requirements were passed in August 2016 which require the disclosure of at least one chemical substance in the warning, among other new requirements (and with some exceptions). The deadline for compliance with the new obligations was 30 August 2018.
Businesses operating and distributing products in California, and their suppliers, must pay a high level of attention to this regulation. Penalties for not including a Proposition 65 warning prior to an exposure above safe harbor levels are as high as $2,500 per violation per day, quickly adding up to an average settlement of $37,453 in 2017 with the CA attorney general’s office, district attorney, large city attorney or a private attorney. Yet, CA Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) indicate on their website: “You are discouraged from providing a warning that is not necessary and instead should consider consulting a qualified professional.”
The Prop 65 list of over 950 chemicals known to cause cancer and/or reproductive harm changes frequently, and so can the safe harbor levels established. Far more chemicals are added to the list annually than are removed.
With all the activity with regulated substances and required warnings, combined with the high price of fines and brand damage, a comprehensive Prop 65 compliance program is needed.
The challenge of complying with consumer protection laws like California’s Proposition 65 reveals an increased need for end-to-end supply chain collaboration. Regular and comprehensive regulatory monitoring, collection, documentation and review of relevant data, and an exchange of timely information, are vital in understanding and controlling risk, exposure and liability.
You can learn more about California Proposition 65 with the help of these following resources:
The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (CA Proposition 65)
The State of CA, Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General Prop 65
Current list of Prop 65 Chemicals
Proposition 65 Your right to know - OEHHA
Sample Prop 65 Warnings and Translations for Businesses
3E EH&S Expressions Blog:
Supplier Resources: 3E Connect offers a comprehensive service to help your organization comply with Prop 65 regulations. 3E Connect leverages our global supplier network to quickly identify critical Prop 65 contacts within your supply chain. 3E Connect utilizes our experienced North American-based obtainment team to reach deep into your supplier base to gather, validate and enrich the needed supplier and product-level data. The data is securely stored in 3E Connects’s industry-leading web-based software platform, which feeds into your ERP system. 3E Connect’s Prop 65 compliance program allows your organization to quickly respond to and fulfill Prop 65 requests from your downstream customers. At a fraction of the cost to manage the program in-house, your organization can partner with 3E Connect and launch your Prop 65 compliance program today.