A major revision of the product labeling requirements for California’s Proposition 65 is expected to be final at the end of 2016. The regulation requires businesses to provide “clear and reasonable” warnings when they “expose” Californians to listed chemicals identified by the state to cause of cancer or reproductive harm (currently, over 800 chemicals are on the list). The state agency that administers Proposition 65 has proposed significant changes to the regulations that include more detail regarding “clear and reasonable” warnings. As a result, consumer product and food companies should pay close attention to these proposed changes to mitigate their potential risk of enforcement litigation.
Key proposed changes to warning content:
- Warning symbol: warnings must contain the signal word “WARNING” and a pictogram indicating a hazard.
- Identify Chemicals: warnings must include identification of the listed chemical for which the warning is being provided.
- Hyperlink to website: almost all warnings will require a link to web pages which contains additional exposure information about specific chemicals and products compiled by OEHHA.
- Additional Languages: existing regulations require warning only in English, but the proposed revision would require warnings in non-English languages if other product labeling contains information in other languages.
Companies that do businesses in California should assess the potential impact of the new requirements on their current Proposition 65 compliance strategy. Many companies will need to revise their warning protocols, and some forward-thinking companies may also want to review their raw materials and risk management strategy to determine if they can avoid labeling altogether.
If you have questions about how the updated requirements will affect your compliance strategy, please reach out to UL’s experts for assistance by calling 888.485.4733 or visiting ul.com/environment.