Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians regarding the potential for significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. These chemicals can be in the products that Californians purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. By requiring that this information be provided, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about their exposures to these chemicals.
Proposition 65 became law in November 1986, when California voters approved it by a 63-37 percent margin. The official name of Proposition 65 is the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.
Although Proposition 65 is only enforced in the State of California, because of the way products are channeled through distribution to the consumer market, it is all but impossible to isolate or segregate product packaging so that it is only included on products sold within California. As such, our product packages carrying the Prop-65 warning label (for relevant products) are found in all 50 states and beyond.
The remaining states and territories of the U.S. either disagree with California’s assessment of the potential hazards of certain chemicals or believe that you, the consumer, are intelligent and resourceful enough to make your own informed decision.
A Proposition 65 warning informs a consumer that that the State of California has determined that s/he may be exposed to carcinogens or reproductive toxins that exceed certain threshold levels. This is not the same as a regulatory decision that a product is “safe” or “unsafe.” The State of California encourages consumers to seek information about the actual levels of exposure from the business that produces the product in order to decide whether to accept, avoid, or take measures to mitigate the exposure risk.