Proposition 65: California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986
You may have seen the following warning on our products, as well as on the products of other manufacturers:
“WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.”
This warning is the result of Proposition 65: California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, passed in 1986. It is commonly referred to as “Proposition 65”.
The warning does not mean that QRP products will necessarily cause cancer or reproductive harm. A Proposition 65 warning does not mean that a product is in violation of any product-safety standards or requirements. As a matter of fact, the State of California has clarified that “the fact that a product bears a Proposition 65 warning does not mean by itself that the product is unsafe.” Furthermore, the State explained “You could think of Proposition 65 more as a ‘right to know’ law than a pure product safety law.” Please visit: http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/background/p65plain.html for further information.
While QRP believes its’ products are not harmful when used as designed, this warning is provided as a result of this California Law.
What is Proposition 65?
Proposition 65 is a broad law that applies to any company operating, selling, or manufacturing products in California, or operating, selling or manufacturing products that may be sold in or brought into California. The law mandates that the Governor of California maintain and publish a list of chemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects and/or other reproductive harm. The list, which is updated annually, includes a wide variety of chemicals that can be found in many every-day items, including (but not limited to) dyes, solvents, food-additives, drugs, by-products of certain processes, pesticides and tobacco products. The purpose of Proposition 65 is to insure that people are informed about exposure to these chemicals.
Proposition 65 requires that warnings be placed on any product, product packaging, or literature accompanying a product that contains or may contain any of the 800 plus chemicals that the California Air Resources Board considers harmful. As shown above, many of the items listed under Proposition 65 have been used in every day consumer items for years without documented harm.
A warning must be given if the listed chemical is merely present in a product unless a business demonstrates that the exposure it causes poses “no significant risk.” With respect to carcinogens, the “no significant risk” level is defined as the level which is calculated to result in not more than one excess case of cancer in 100,000 individuals exposed over a 70-year lifetime. What this means is that if you are exposed to the chemical in question at this level every day for 70 years, theoretically, it will increase your chances of getting cancer by no more than 1 case in 100,000 individuals so exposed.
With respect to reproductive toxicants, the “no significant risk” level is defined as the level of exposure which, even if multiplied by 1,000, will not produce birth defects or other reproductive harm. What this means is that the level of exposure is below the “no observable effect level,” divided by 1,000. (The “no observable level” is the highest dose level which has not been associated with observable reproductive harm in humans or test animals.)
A Proposition 65 warning generally means one of two things:
1. The business has evaluated the exposure and has concluded that it exceeds the “no significant risk level”,
2. The business has chosen to provide a warning simply based on its knowledge about the presence of a listed chemical without attempting to evaluate the exposure.
QRP has chosen to provide a warning based on its’ knowledge about the presence of one or more listed chemicals without attempting to evaluate the level of exposure, as not all of the listed chemicals provide exposure limit requirements. With QRP’s products, the exposure may be negligible or well within the “no significant risk” range. However, out of an abundance of caution, QRP has elected to provide this Proposition 65 warning.
Why does QRP provide this warning?
The penalties for not complying with Proposition 65 are steep. As a result of the potential penalties, and because there is no penalty for providing an unnecessary warning, QRP, as well as many other manufacturers, have elected to provide this Proposition 65 notice out of an abundance of caution in order to avoid the potential for liability.
QRP products are sold nationwide. It would be extremely difficult and costly to determine which products will be ultimately sold or brought into California. Therefore to insure compliance with Proposition 65 requirements, QRP has decided to include these warnings on all our products, regardless of origin.
For more information about Proposition 65, visit: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/getNSRLs.html