Prop 65 Warning

Proposition 65

Prop 65, formally known as “The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986”  is a California proposition which prohibits businesses, through offering consumer products, from exposing anyone to chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm, without first giving fair warning.  In enacting Prop 65, California voters explicitly found that California state agencies had failed to protect and warn Californians from hazardous chemicals that posed a serious threat to their health.  Prop 65 is a “right to know” law that creates a right for consumers and other individuals to be warned before being exposed to chemicals known to cause cancer and other reproductive harm through a mandatory Prop 65 warning. In addition, it enables private individuals or groups to enforce the law in the public interest when companies ignore the Prop 65 warning requirements.

If a private citizen is successful in proving that a violator caused an exposure to a chemical known to cause cancer or reproductive harm, the Court can impose civil penalties, or fines, of up to $2,500 per day for each violation.  The court can also order the violator to reformulate its product to eliminate the toxic chemical, stop selling its product in California, or provide a Prop 65 warning that the product contains a chemical known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive harm.  Although Prop 65 mandates that the Prop 65 warning be provided with consumer products containing chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm, it is through enforcement actions that private enforcers are able to obtain agreements from businesses to go above and beyond the requirements of Proposition 65 by reformulating their consumer products to reduce or eliminate the presence of such chemicals.

Passed more than 25 years ago, Prop 65 has protected California consumers by requiring businesses to provide clear and reasonable health hazard warnings with products containing chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm; without the Prop 65 warning, the public would have no no way to know of such potential health hazards.