Proposition 65 (California)

Proposition 65 requires the state of California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Today, this list contains over 750 chemicals and has far reaching implications beyond California

Proposition 65 affects many industries including food, drug, consumer product, cosmetic, agricultural products, medical device manufacturers, workplaces and commercial businesses. Once a chemical is listed under Proposition 65, businesses have twelve months to comply with warning requirements through labeling, posted signs, and publications, and twenty months to comply with the prohibition of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water. Warnings are not required provided the manufacturer has conducted an exposure and risk assessment that proves that the level of exposure is less than an amount that would pose a significant risk (Safe Harbor Level). Proposition 65 does not ban any products, nor is it a true assessment of potential health risks, rather it requires warnings instead.

Compliance is complicated in that the limits for identified chemicals can vary for compound and product. Product limits are often established based on settlements resulting from prior litigation from individual or groups challenging the warning requirements.

At Exponent we work with clients to address a variety of Proposition 65 issues including:

  • New 2018 labeling changes
  • Listing/delisting of chemicals 
  • Product line assessment and compliance program management 
  • Sampling of products including food market basket studies 
  • Exposure and risk assessments including worker, consumer, environmental exposures 
  • Evaluation and development of Safe Harbor Levels 
  • Litigation support
  • Safe Use Determinations



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