California Proposition 65 Regulatory Change Bulletin
The purpose of this article is alert GAWDA members to upcoming critical changes to California Proposition 65 regulations that may have an impact on your operations if you are:
1. Selling products directly to consumers in California,
2. Selling products to wholesalers or retailers in California,
3. Selling product to distributors outside of California, that may subsequently redistribute that product into California, or
4. Selling or distributing products made by another manufacturer that will subsequently be sold or distributed in California by your company (i.e., welding materials).
The focus of the information in this article will be specific to gas products.
Currently the most common gas products on the Prop65 list include carbon monoxide, ethylene oxide, nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide. Contact [email protected] for a complete list of chemical gases currently on the California Proposition 65 list.
Acknowledging that most gas companies also distribute and sell various welding products, we strongly advise that GAWDA Members who might be affected contact their welding material suppliers to insure that their welding product labeling is in compliance with Proposition 65 labeling and warning requirements.
Changes to California Proposition 65 will become law with an effective date of August 30, 2018.
Confused, or maybe you never heard of Proposition 65 before today?
Let’s start with a quick review.
Proposition 65 is a California state regulation originally enacted in 1986, so it has been the law for more than 30 years. The law was originally known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act and requires that manufacturers, distributors and retailers provide appropriate hazard warnings to consumers in California about exposure to certain chemicals that are known, by the State of California, to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Proposition 65 requirements apply to any business that manufacture, distribute or retail products used by consumers in the State of California that contain or can produce one or more of the hazardous chemicals on the Proposition 65 list.
What Proposition 65 list?
Proposition 65 is administered by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazards Assessment (OEHHA). Their primary responsibility is to maintain the Prop 65 list of affected hazardous chemicals and post them to their website. The list currently contains approximately 900 chemicals and is updated at least annually as new hazardous chemicals are identified. The list classifies each chemical as carcinogenic or a reproductive health hazard to assist in the identification of the appropriate and correct ‘safe harbor’ or ‘clear and reasonable’ warning labeling or other approved communication.
It is important to know that while OEHHA administers Proposition 65, the California Attorney General’s Office is responsible to enforce the requirements of Prop 65. Failure to comply with the regulations could result is fines of up to $2,500 per violation/per day.
In accordance with the proposed changes effective August 30, 2018, Section 25603, Consumer Product Exposure Warnings, lists allowable warning requirements for single chemical products which would include the affected gas products. The new Proposition 65 warning labeling for these products must include the following three (3) elements:
1. A symbol consisting of a black exclamation point in a yellow triangle with a bold black outline. The symbol shall be placed to the left of the warning text in a font no smaller than that used in the word “WARNING” (see below).
2. The word “WARNING” in all capital letters and bold print.
3. For single chemical or mixture exposure there are specific new and additional words that must be on the label for each hazard and combination of hazards (Cancer and Reproductive harm), following the symbol and the word “WARNING.” (See https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov).
The font used in the Prop 65 warnings should not be smaller than that used to provide other warning text in the product labeling and shall never be smaller than six-point text.
The information described in this bulletin is meant to provide gas industry members a “heads up alert” to the upcoming changes in California laws that may have an impact on your business if you are selling or distributing affected products in California. This is not an all-inclusive list and we recommend that members conduct a review of business practices to determine if you may be affected by these changes.