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In 1986, California voters approved the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 more commonly known as Proposition 65. Proposition 65 requires the State of California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, or birth defects or other reproductive harm. This list, which must be updated at least once a year, has grown to include approximately 900 chemicals since it was first published in 1987. The list includes a wide variety of chemicals many of which can be found in common household products, dyes, solvents, drugs, food-additives, pesticides and tobacco products and many are by-products of certain manufacturing processes, or they may be products of common chemical processes, such as motor vehicle exhaust.
If a warning is placed on a product label or posted or distributed at a workplace, a business, or in rental housing, the business issuing the warning is aware or believes that it is exposing individuals to one or more listed chemicals. By law, a warning must be given for listed chemicals unless the exposure is low enough to pose no significant risk of cancer or is significantly below levels observed to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.
For information on the Proposition 65 list of chemicals, you may contact OEHHA’s Proposition 65 program at (916) 445-6900, or visit http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65.html.
The list contains a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that include additives or ingredients in pesticides, common household products, food, drugs, dyes, or solvents. Listed chemicals may also be used in manufacturing and construction, or they may be byproducts of chemical processes, such as motor vehicle exhaust.