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California's Proposition 65

Understanding California's Proposition 65

California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as Proposition 65, is a state-specific law that requires businesses to provide warnings about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. This law mandates that California maintains and updates a list of these harmful chemicals, which has grown to include over 800 entries since its inception.

Businesses that sell products containing these chemicals in California must inform consumers via warning labels. These warnings are widespread across various locations including restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, and even theme parks.

Key Points About Proposition 65

  1. Chemical List Details: The Proposition 65 chemical list includes substances found in everything from construction materials to household products, including foods, beverages, and supplements. Natural environmental elements like lead, cadmium, and arsenic, which are found globally, also require warnings when included in products.
  2. Geographic Application: Proposition 65 only affects products sold in California. Businesses, regardless of their physical location, must comply with this law if their products are available in California, but no warnings are required for products sold elsewhere.
  3. Safety Implications: The presence of a Proposition 65 warning on a product does not inherently mean that the product is unsafe. It simply means that one or more listed chemicals are present, and the warning is intended to allow consumers to make informed choices.
  4. Exposure Thresholds: Proposition 65 sets thresholds for chemicals based on their risk of causing cancer or reproductive harm. For carcinogens, the "no significant risk level" is the exposure level that would result in no more than one additional case of cancer in 100,000 individuals exposed daily for 70 years. For reproductive toxins, the "no observable effect level" is adjusted by a safety factor of 1,000 to determine when a warning is necessary

Rütean's Commitment to Safety

Rütean takes a rigorous approach to product safety, testing all raw ingredients and finished products for identity, purity, and the presence of Proposition 65 chemicals. If any naturally occurring chemical exceeds the defined safety thresholds, a warning is included on the product label. However, all substances requiring a warning are kept within safe consumption limits as established by the U.S. Pharmacopeia.

Further Resources

For more information about Proposition 65, visit the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment website at http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65.html or the California Attorney General’s Office at https://oag.ca.gov/prop65.