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California limits the use of Prop65

California limits the use of Prop65
Sustainability
May 04, 2021

Starting from January 2021, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking significantly restrict the use of the short-form warning as a safe harbor under Proposition 65. 

The short-form option is currently permitted for use without regard to the package size or available labelling space. However, there has been a widespread use of short-form warnings in ways that were not intended and do not further the purposes of Proposition 65. 

The amendments would change the content of the warnings and the method of use. The changes are meant in order to make short-form warning less appealing to business, to drive identification of Proposition 65-listed chemicals in the warning, and to discourage “over-warning”.

The proposed regulation makes the following changes:

  • Limiting the use of the short-form warning, only allows its use on products with 5 square inches or less of label space, and the package shape or size cannot accommodate the full-length warning.
  • Eliminating short-form warnings in internet and catalogues, if the product carries such warnings.
  • Requiring at least one chemical to be included in the warning.
  • Clarifying how short-form warnings can be used for food products.

Currently, short-form warnings for consumer products look like:

Caution_symbol WARNING: Cancer – www.P65Warnings.ca.gov

For businesses who choose to use the modified short-form warning, OEHHA proposed the regulation to become operative for one year after the effective date of the amendments. Any product that is manufactured within that one-year window and bears the “old” short-form warning would be able to sell through for an indefinite period.

[1]  Notice of Proposed Rule-making

[2]  OEHHA sample warnings and translations

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