Proposition 65 is a Californian enforcement act which was first published in 1987 and requires the State to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. The Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) recommended the listing which must be updated at least once a year and now includes more than 900 chemicals. When a chemical joins the California list, a warning prior to exposure is imposed.
Diisononyl Phthalate (DINP) is an ester of phthalic acid which is used in a wide range of soft plastic and vinyl products, such as electrical wire, cables, coated fabrics, auto parts, vinyl flooring, gloves, footwear, school supplies, and roofing materials. It was added to this list of chemicals on December 20, 2013 and the warning requirement will become effective on December 20, 2014. However OEHHA has not developed yet a safe harbor level for DINP. In this case, manufacturers are not only responsible to develop one – if DINP is present in their products, but they must also demonstrate that the level of exposure from normal use will be below this safe harbor level. If the exposure is greater than the safe harbor level they should provide a warning label.
According to Proposition 65 regulations these warning labels are referred to as “safe harbor warnings” and are considered to be clear and reasonable.
These warnings must:
(1)Communication a clear way that the chemical is known to cause cancer, and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm; and
(2)Effectively access the person before exposure. When a chemical is added to the Proposition 65 list, warning requirements take effect a year later.
Next steps for Warning Labels?
On March 7, 2014 there were proposed potential Amendments to Article 6 about “Clear and Reasonable Warnings”:
1.Use of the signal word “Warning”;
2.Use of the word “expose” to be consistent
3.The standard (global harmonized system) pictogram for toxic hazards
4.Disclosure of the names of up to 12 commonly-known chemicals that require warnings, such as lead and mercury, in the text of the warning.
5.A link to the new OEHHA website where more information can be found regarding exposures, etc.For more information: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/law/P65Regs.html#warning