Since 1986, when Californians voted in favor of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (more commonly known as Proposition 65), the initiative has been warning residents of California of toxic substances that are in the goods they purchase. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) oversees Proposition 65 and its list of more than 800 chemicals, and on August 30, 2016, the Office of Administrative Law approved amendments to Article 6, Clear and Reasonable Warnings, of Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations.

These amendments mandate changes to the way in which warnings are written and where/how they must appear; for some manufacturers and retailers, this change may involve efforts from multiple locations around the globe. To allow companies adequate time to transition to the new warning provisions, new regulations will not be operative until August 30, 2018, but manufacturers and retailers may wish to begin working toward compliance now to avoid delays or issues in 2018.

More specifically, these amendments cover warning information provided via various forms of transmission – on product, internet and catalog purchases, and in store – and the font colors/styles/sizes that must be used. While the current labeling requirements mandate the use of the word “warning” in all capital letters, the new requirements help this information stand out on the product while providing additional information to the consumer. The most significant changes include:

  1. Requirements for the inclusion of a warning symbol (a black exclamation point in a yellow equilateral triangle, as show above.
  2. The inclusion of the chemical substance(s) contained in the product, in red
  3. The inclusion of the primary risk factor (cancer and/or reproductive harm), in red
  4. The inclusion of a link to the Proposition 65 website (www.P65Warnings.ca.gov)

Proposition 65 remains an important element of consumer awareness and these changes ensure the initiative remains effective going forward. As always, the list of chemicals must be updated annually with new substances recommended by the Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) or the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant (DART) Identification Committee.

For more information on these amendments or to learn how UL can help you navigate multiple chemical regulations with robust testing and certification, contact us today.