Prop 65 Amendment Poses Compliance Challenge for Companies

The implementation date of the "clear and reasonable warning" amendment was August 31, 2018. What have we learned since then? What are some best practices for approaching compliance? What will be the future of the regulation?


If your company operates or sells products in the state of California you’re probably aware of California Proposition 65. Prop 65 requires businesses to provide a warning that certain chemicals used in the production of their goods could expose the public to hazardous properties.


Who Is in Prop 65 Scope?


The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) outlines that the only businesses not in scope of Prop 65 compliance are small businesses with less than 10 employees, governmental agencies, and public water systems.

All other businesses, not subject to this criteria face the challenge of complying with this complex regulation.


Prop 65 Amendment Challenge


While administering a warning label may be simple in concept, the recent amendment to the Prop 65 regulation (which stands to be implemented in August 2018) will make labeling more challenging. The label on your product will need to specify the in scope chemicals or substances contained in your product in addition to the generic warning.

Now, herein lies the hurdle. The regulation amendment does not offer a grace period for companies to change the labels on their goods, so in August 2018, if all of your company’s warning labels do not follow the new guidelines, you will be out of compliance.


Why Is This Something Companies Need to Care about?


In 2016, there were a total of 760 Prop 65 lawsuits that totaled over $30 million in settlement payouts.


Regulation Amendment


Until August 2018, Proposition 65 will not require explicit substance exposure warning. A part of the regulation that has allowed many companies to label their products with minimal effort and still maintain compliance. After August 2018, labels will need to state the chemicals and substances contained in the product that is known to the state of California to cause cancer, or birth defects or other reproductive harm.

The last challenge that remains is collecting the applicable data. The current Prop 65 chemical list is made up of over 900 substances and is updated on a yearly basis. The overwhelming task of running pivot tables on spreadsheets to see if A - your goods contain any listed chemicals, and B - how much of said chemical is in the good, will most likely take the majority of your work week and put you behind on other tasks.

Despite the complexity of Prop 65, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. With the help of data collection technology, the update to Prop 65 can actually be more attainable than you expect.


Key to Compliance


Engage with your suppliers. Let them know your intentions. For a vendor, a request without context is a challenge and becomes a burden. The goal of Prop 65 compliance for your company is to get a full list of your chemicals, check them against the Prop 65 list, and understand your warning label requirements. Communicate to your vendors your goal is to empower them to get you the accurate data you need.


Prop 65 Compliance Program


We’ve developed a program for Prop 65, that takes into account the new amendment, to give companies a clear snapshot of their labeling requirements. The Prop 65 program allows you to upload your products, request information from your supply chain about product components, and quickly understand at risk products. Real time results give you a clear view of your Prop 65 requirements. See our program for yourself and request a demo with one of our program experts!


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