PROP 65 Deadline Takes Effect in California – No Delay Granted

As TLMI has reported on several times this year, California’s revised PROP 65 regulations went into effect yesterday. If your company has received inquiries from suppliers or customers asking you to certify compliance with the new regulations, TLMI has provided the below outline on steps to take. In most instances, they want to understand if your label (or other product) includes one of the covered chemicals, and may be subject to the regulation. We encourage you to first read the overall backgrounder developed by the state, for an understanding of the compliance program.

Step 1: Identification of PROP 65 Chemicals
A warning requirement for a PROP 65 listed chemicals is not automatically triggered. Many of the chemicals have listed safe harbor level listed. To begin, TLMI recommends member companies review the most current list of PROP 65 chemicals, to identify whether or not their product contains a listed chemical.

Step 2: Review Exposure Limit Levels for Chemicals
California has set exposure limits for some of the chemicals listed. If the exposure is low enough to pose no significant risk of cancer or is significantly below levels observed to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm, then compliance is not required.

TLMI recommends erring on the side of caution – if you do not know the presence level of a PROP 65 chemical, we suggest treating it as a covered chemical, and working to comply with your supplier and or customers.

Step 3: Understanding Responsibility for Providing the Warning
For labels impacted by the regulation (and attached to a consumer product), the distributor or manufacturer importing the product must provide the warning to the retailer. If your company is receiving letters or inquiries from customers, it is because they want to know if warnings are required for their products.

The written notice to the retailer must state that a PROP 65 warning is required and include the name, description or identifying information for the product, as well as necessary warning materials.

Just as important, the brick and mortar outlet must also provide to the manufacturer, or other entity importing covered products notification that they have received the PROP 65 warning, and all necessary safe harbor materials.

Step 4: PROP 65 Warning Label Overview

Most consumer products goods (CPGs) companies, will likely not print PROP 65 warnings on impacted products (even though that is an option). The majority will update safe harbor warnings and provide businesses that sell their products information required to be in compliance.

For companies choosing not to use on-package labeling, there must be a product-specific warning provided on posted sign, shelf tag, or shelf sign at each point of display. It may also be provided via any electronic device or process that automatically provides the warning to the purchaser, prior to or during purchase.