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In California, several settlements have been reached relating to the use of listed substances in consumer products. While these consent agreements only bind the named parties, all businesses operating in California are advised to stay aware of them to help avoid potential future problems.

California Proposition 65 (Prop 65), or the ‘Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986’, was passed in November 1986. It requires the state to maintain a list of chemicals (Prop 65 List) known to cause cancer, birth defects and/or reproductive harm. This list now contains approximately 900 substances.

Businesses operating in California must provide ‘a clear and reasonable warning’ (Prop 65 Warning) before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a substance on the Prop 65 List. Once a substance is listed, companies have twelve months to comply with this requirement.

The substances and the years they were listed in this recent list of settlements are:

  • Lead - 1987
  • Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) - 2005
  • Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) - 2005
  • Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) - 1988 (cancer), 2003 (birth defects & reproductive harm)
  • Di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP) - 2007
  • Diisononyl phthalate (DINP) - 2013
  • Di-n-hexyl phthalate (DnHP) - 2005
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) - 2015
  • Diethanolamine - 2012
  • Carbon monoxide - 1989
  • Soot - 1987

Many of these substances have consistently been targeted since they were listed, which has resulted in numerous lawsuits, settlements and judgements. In many cases a reformulation is required but in some instances a Prop 65 warning is allowed as an alternative.

SGS constantly monitors the legal landscape surrounding Prop 65 to ensure stakeholders remain informed on the outcomes of settlements and judgements. They also provide interested parties with insights into the details of the judgements, which may help businesses better understand the implications of an agreement and thereby help avoid potential future litigation.

Prop 65 settlements and judgements have been reached on a wide variety of substances used in consumer goods, including:

  • Chemicals:
    • BPA - chillers/cold paddles, polycarbonate baking mold/cutter sets, polycarbonate drinkware, polycarbonate goblets and salad servers , polycarbonate pitchers, polycarbonate spoons
    • DBP - bicycle starter packs, polymer exercise balls, rollerball body massagers
    • Diethanolmine - hand wash products
    • Carbon monoxide & soot - citronella oil products, fire starter items
  • DEHP - apparel, DIY tools and hardware products, electrical and electronic equipment and accessories, food contact materials and articles, houseware products, personal care products, pet products and accessories, sport and leisure products
  • Lead and phthalates - bags, book covers, electrical components and accessories (outlets), flashlights, hammers and screwdrivers, security products, products made using Vinyl/PVC

To read the full terms of each of these settlements and learn how they may influence future product development, read the relevant SGS Safeguards:

SGS Prop 65 Services

With a global network of laboratories, SGS can offer comprehensive testing, product assessment and consultancy services related to California Proposition 65. SGS can assist your risk management strategy in consumer goods, such as DIYs, electrical and electronics, hardgoods products, juvenile products, and textile & toy products. Learn more about SGS’s Prop 65 Services.

Subscribe here to receive SGS SafeGuardS direct to your inbox.

For further information contact:

Hingwo Tsang

Global Information and Innovation Manager

Tel:(+852) 2774 7420

Email: crs.media@sgs.com

Website: www.sgs.com/cgnr

LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 97,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.