A Regulation Shake Up: Proposition 65

Brooklyn Summerville, July 11, 2018

     Another regulation change is coming to shake up the compliance labeling world in August 2018: California Proposition 65. Prop 65 which was originally created by the state of California in 1986 as the “Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986”, came into review in 2016 and the decision was made to create clearer guidelines on when and where to post these warnings.


     These new guidelines will require warnings to identify which chemicals are known to be carcinogenic or reproductively toxic. The warnings must be “clear and reasonable” and can be displayed through labeling, signage, distributing notices in complexes, or publishing notices in the newspaper.


     This will affect any business that works with a chemical that has been listed, once listed businesses are given 12 months to comply with warnings. That includes any business shipping product in or out California, that includes a listed chemical.


     However, businesses with 10 or fewer employees will be exempt from these requirements. A business that is using a chemical at safe harbor levels, one that would create no significant risk of cancer or reproductive harm is also exempt from displaying these warnings. Safe harbor levels have been determined by the OEHHA, for over 300 chemicals. If the chemical in question has not been assigned a safe harbor level yet, OEHHA recommends consulting with a qualified professional before posting inaccurate warnings or possibly not complying.


From a compliance labeling standpoint, there are a couple of points to keep in mind concerning Prop 65:

  1.  The Prop 65 warning symbol consists of a black exclamation point in a yellow equilateral triangle with a bold, black outline. The symbol must be placed to the left of the text of the warning in a size no smaller than the height of the word, “WARNING”. If the sign, label, or shelf tag for the product is not printed using the color yellow, the symbol may be provided in black and white. 
  2.   If you are running out of real estate on your GHS chemical labels to add a full prop 65 exposure warning, you may be able to substitute a short-form exposure warning.

If you have questions about Prop 65 or any compliance labeling topic, contact Reliance at 800-656-9476 or email us at info@reliancelabel.com.

For additional information on Prop 65, follow the links:

P65 Main Website

Download Warning Symbols in Color and B&W in Sizes Ranging from Six Point to 72 Point

Sample Warnings and Translations for Businesses

The Proposition 65 Chemical List