Prop 65 Changes Effective Aug. 30, 2018

It’s the most far-reaching consumer “right to know” law in the nation and it has been revised, via Article 6, with changes that are effective August 30, 2018.

What is Proposition 65?

  • It’s a law that requires California businesses with 10 or more employees to provide a clear and reasonable warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing individuals to chemicals known to cause cancer and/ or reproductive toxicity.
  • The law only requires businesses to warn of the exposure.
  • The Governor is required to keep a list of all substances known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) administers the program and maintains the list of chemicals on its public website. Since first published in 1987, the list has grown to include more than 800 chemicals. OEHHA has developed threshold levels for only 300 chemicals to guide businesses in determining whether a warning is necessary. If the chemical is at or below the levels listed, the business has a “safe harbor” from providing a warning.

What’s new?

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) provided specific guidance on the new product warning label. The regulation also contains an unlimited sell-through period, meaning products manufactured prior to August 30, 2018, may comply with the long-standing warning regulations, even if the product is sold after the effective date. Products manufactured on or after August 30, 2018, must comply with the new regulations.

This regulation, Article 6, contains several provisions and modifications including a furniture-specific safe harbor; it clarifies that a separate Prop 65 label is not required for furniture. Instead, according to the regulation manufacturers can affix the Prop 65 warning to the product “in the same manner as other consumer information or warning materials that are provided on the product.” The label language is more specific (see example below).

Prop 65 Label Example

Prop 65 Label Example

For internet sales, an online retailer must provide an online warning that must be viewed by the customer prior to purchase. This must happen even if the product the customer is buying already contains a warning.

As a retailer, you’ll need to maintain your chain of custody documents and post the Prop 65 warning at each public entrance on an 8 ½ x 11″ sign in 28-point font or stamped on each receipt in 12-point font. If you carry private-label goods or are the importer of record on any lines make sure those products carry the above label.

The signs in your store (or the language on your receipts) should read:

NOTICE: (bold and in all caps)
“Some furniture products can expose you to chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm. Please check the product label for warning information.”

PLEASE BE ADVISED: These are merely suggestions on how to comply with CA Proposition 65 regulatory provisions. HFA highly recommends you consult your own legal counsel to ensure both full compliance with Prop. 65 as well as protection from legal action. HFA also recommends you consult your furniture manufacturers and suppliers regarding their plans for securing protection for themselves and providing help to retailers regarding this matter.

Click here for the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s information on Prop 65.

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