California Proposition 65 List

Little Pro on 2015-12-30

California Proposition 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was enacted in November 1986 to protect California citizens and the State's drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals.

There are two main requirements:

  • No one shall knowingly discharge or release a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity to water or land which lead drinking water contamination;
  • No one shall knowingly and intentionally expose any individual to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity without first giving clear and reasonable warning.

California Proposition 65 List and Safe Harbor Levels

California Proposition 65 List is a list of chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. There are more than 950 substances on the list. The list is updated annually. To download the latest list, please click the link below:

California adopts safe harbor levels (levels of exposure that trigger the warning requirement) for many listed chemicals. Exposures below those levels do not require a warning. For example, lead is on the list. Jewelry is just one of many types of products that may contain lead. Manufacturers and importers of lead-containing jewelry must warn consumers if they will be exposed to lead in jewelry in an amount that exceeds the safe harbor level of 0.5 micrograms per day.

The picture below is a sample of California Proposition 65 warning label.

California Proposition 65 Warning label

How to determine if a Proposition 65 warning is required for a product?

California Proposition 65 applies only to exposures to listed chemicals. It does not ban or restrict the use of any given chemical by setting a concentration limit for the chemical in a product. The concentration of a listed chemical in a product is just one factor to be considered when calculating its exposure level. The exposure level will be compared with safe harbor level to determine if a warning is needed.

Is a product safe if it carries a Proposition 65 warning?

The purpose of Proposition 65 is to notify consumers that they are being exposed to chemicals that are known to cause cancer and/or reproductive toxicity. Consumers can decide on their own if they want to purchase or use the product. A Proposition 65 warning does not necessarily mean a product is in violation of any product-safety standards or requirements.

Related Regulations and Standards

Reference & Resources

Click here to access all references and resources for the United States of America including the English translation of regulations, regulatory lists and useful links to the websites of competent authorities.

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