The 411 on California Prop 65


The 411 on a California Prop 65

I like to know what is in my food and products, so on a surface, Prop 65 is an extraordinary law. A tag that tells me when a product contains damaging chemicals? A dream come true! But after saying a warning on many of a healthy health products we use (like supplements), we did some digging. I’ve found that there are some concerns with California Prop 65 that might make it reduction than helpful.

What is California Prop 65?

Prop 65 or a Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 was voted into law by a landslide (63 percent). The goal of this law was to concede Californians to make sensitive choices about a products they buy and use.

The law requires companies to forewarn Californians about poignant amounts of chemicals in a products they manufacture. Prop 65 also prohibits California businesses from intentionally releasing poignant amounts of listed chemicals into or nearby celebration H2O sources.

The list of potentially cryptic chemicals, compounds, and metals lonesome by Proposition 65 has grown to some-more than 900 given 1986.

New Prop 65 Requirements

Originally Prop 65 compulsory companies to put a warning on their product’s tag if there was one or some-more of a listed chemicals in a product. It would demeanour like one or both of these:

WARNING: This product contains a chemical famous to a State of California to means cancer.

WARNING: This product contains a chemical famous to a State of California to means birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Obviously, a warning doesn’t discuss a specific piece or any other information about it. Opponents to a mandate disagree that these warnings might be shocking consumers being useful given they don’t yield adequate information for context.

New regulations adopted in 2016 addressed some of these concerns by rewording a warning:

WARNING: This product can display we to chemicals including (name of one or some-more chemicals), that is (are) famous to a State of California to means cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For some-more information go to

The brief chronicle (for really tiny labels) reads:

WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm –

The new mandate also combined a vast yellow triangle with black exclamation indicate to make a warning some-more noticeable.

Though a new tag is some-more specific and offers some additional information, it still might be reduction than useful for consumers.

Benefits of Prop 65

It creates clarity because this act was voted into law so overwhelmingly. Our sourroundings is some-more poisonous than ever and a food is following in a footsteps. We live in a universe where vast companies are abusing healthy resources, putting unattractive mixture in food, and aren’t being hold accountable. Prop 65 gives consumers a possibility to know when something they are about to eat or hold contains chemicals that could be harmful.

Prop 65 doesn’t try to control what businesses are putting in their products. Its goal is to give consumers sensitive consent. In sequence to make good choices for ourselves and a families we need to know what’s in a food. However, some companies are selecting to revoke a turn of chemicals in their products to equivocate carrying to use a warning label, that is a good thing for consumers.

Companies that are regulating a warning tag on their products don’t wish to emanate apart wrapping for California-bound products so those in other states advantage from a tag as well.

California Prop 65 Controversy

Though a grounds behind Prop 65 creates sense, there are some critical problems with a law.

No (Easy) Distinction Between Substances

Prop 65 doesn’t make a eminence between substances that are synthetic (like paint, batteries, and exhaust) and those that are naturally found (like in dirt and crops). For example, lead is a naturally occurring complicated steel found in healthy products like produce. So organic cocoa powder, bentonite clay, or even collard greens would be in a same difficulty as lead paint!

A piece like lead is reduction damaging when it’s naturally occurring as it is already connected to another component (unlike lead in paint, cosmetics, etc. that is unbonded, bioavailable, and can amass in a body).

There is a “naturally occurring” grant that companies can request for, though a conditions are severe and a weight of explanation is on a company. Many companies only tag their products to equivocate a con and expense, according to this essay on a Consumer Products Law Blog.

Safe Harbor Levels Are Misleading

In an essay patrician “Pending California Lawsuit Has Industry in Waiting,” a author explains that protected bay levels for chemicals are set during 1000 times reduction than a turn where no understandable mistreat was found. (This information is accessible directly from California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment website as well.) While a warning about poisonous substances seems like a good thing, it leaves consumers though genuine information about what mistreat these substances can indeed do during a levels in a product.

It might even means some to omit a warnings and not take them seriously.

Potentially Bad for Small Business

Because Prop 65 has a citizen-suit provision, a counsel can start a explain “in a public’s interest” opposite a company. (They don’t need a “victim” or any justification of harm.) These litigators are mostly referred to annuity hunters.

According to this article, over $150 million in profession fees has been paid out given 2000. Though vast companies can catch a cost of these suits, it is expected to mistreat smaller businesses (like a ones that yield healthy, healthy dishes and supplements).

Hasn’t Improved Californians’ Health

If a indicate of Prop 65 is to urge Californians’ health, afterwards it would make clarity that there would be a quantifiable alleviation over a final 30 years. Unfortunately investigate doesn’t support this. A Chemistry World article explains that Prop 65 hasn’t softened a health of Californians, during slightest in propinquity to cancer rates.

Of course, 30 years might only not be prolonged adequate to see improvement, deliberation how poisonous a universe is. However, no diminution in cancer rates is still a poignant anticipating and something to consider.

Prop 65: What to Do

Take a Prop 65 warning as only that: a warning. Use that warning as a jumping off indicate for some-more research.

  • Check association websites for some-more information. When looking during a product with a Prop 65 label, try to find out some-more sum on a company’s website. Take anything we review with a pellet of salt (they advantage from their product being seen as healthy), though don’t omit a information they give. Their website might give we some-more context to a inlet of a chemical or piece in a product and either it is naturally occurring.
  • Always investigate new products. There are many companies out there doing extraordinary things in a healthy health arena. Look during their business practices and how they create, manufacture, or collect their product. The some-more pure a better.
  • Make detoxing a unchanging partial of your life. Avoiding combined toxins is apparently best, though they’re still going to be around. Detox baths or supplements that assistance a physique detox are a good approach to revoke a mistreat of toxins in a environment.

Bottom Line

Though a California Prop 65 seems like something all states should do, it can go overboard. Many companies would rather over-label than face an costly lawsuit. Though Prop 65 has lined a pockets of supposed annuity hunters, it might not have softened Californians’ health.

Do we consider Prop 65 warnings have been useful to you? What has been your experience?


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