California Revises Proposition 65 Warning Requirements

New Regulations Become Operative on August 30, 2018

20 February 2018

If you are a product manufacturer whose products may find their way onto the market in California, you must pay attention to the changes coming into effect on August 30, 2018. California Proposition 65 compliance will now require you to adopt a new warning label, in which one or more listed chemicals in the product must be identified.

The following is an example of the new warning label, which must be placed on the external packaging of product. The intent is to warn the individual prior to coming into contact with the listed chemical or chemicals prior to exposure.

Alternatively, a truncated warning may be used:

WARNING: Cancer (and/or Reproductive Harm) -

Warning labels are required for a variety of situations including environmental exposure (i.e., fumes containing these substances), consumer exposure (i.e., handling or using consumer products), or workplace exposure (i.e., workers exposed to products that contain these chemicals).  Products sold over the internet to customers within the State of California require warnings prior to completion of sale. Non-compliance may result not only in monetary or legal settlements, but also in product reformulation, redesign, or even market withdrawal.

Call to Action:

  • Reach out to your suppliers to identify if any California Proposition 65 chemicals are contained in the raw materials, components, subassemblies, or products they provide.
  • Review your product Bill of Materials (BOM) to determine if individuals would come in contact with the chemicals during the expected normal use of the product.
  • Consider options for addressing potential exposure to these chemicals.

Why is this important? Non-compliance can be costly:

  • In 2015, Plaintiffs paid a total of $26.2 million dollars in total settlement payments, with a total of 583 settlements.
  • In 2016, the last year official figures were published, Plaintiffs paid a total of $30.15 million dollars in total settlement payments. With a total of 760 settlements, the average cost of $40,000/per settlement.

Currently, the California Proposition 65 list of chemicals has grown to almost 1000 chemicals and will continue to expand as new chemicals are added.

The time to act is now!California's Proposition 65 can be a challenging regulation to comply with for all companies, but and Intertek's experience and technical expertise is an invaluable resource to ensure your compliance issues are managed efficiently and comprehensively.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ken directly ( or leave your comments below and one of our experts will get back to you.

Today's expert blogger is Mr. Kenneth Stanvick, who has been providing regulatory expertise to the chemical industry for over 17 years. He has extensive experience navigating global environmental compliance regulations, including EU RoHS, EU WEEE, EU Battery Directive, EU REACH, Energy Star, China RoHS, and Cal Prop 65, UAE RoHS . Ken conducted numerous onsite training and educational seminars to product manufacturers and their suppliers in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, EU, North and South America. Additionally, he has developed and implemented "smart testing" to eliminate unnecessary material testing for restricted, banned or declarable substances based upon the identification of high risk materials, which reduced testing and saved customers time and money.