California Residents Proposition 65 FAQs
- What is Proposition 65?
- What is the warning required by Prop 65?
- What substances require warnings?
- Should I be worried?
- Why don't all similar products carry the same warning?
- Where can I get more information?
What is Proposition 65?
Proposition 65 (or Prop 65, for short) is a California law that requires a warning accompany products sold to California consumers if the products cause an “exposure” (as that legal term is defined in that law) to a certain level of chemicals, such as lead. The “Prop 65” warnings are only required for products sold to California consumers. Prop. 65 standards are very stringent, often far stricter than other laws also governing foods, such as federal standards.
What is the warning required by Prop 65?
Sometimes, before you purchase a product on our website, and also when you receive an invoice for this product, you will see the following warning: This product contains lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.
This warning is required by Prop 65 to notify California residents of certain exposures to lead, which is a Prop 65-listed chemical. Please understand that Prop 65 does not prohibit or restrict in any way the sale of any products containing these chemicals; it only requires warnings like the one we discuss above.
What substances require warnings?
The list of Prop 65 chemicals is very long, covering more than 800 separate items. They include both entirely natural and man-made chemicals. Some of these listed substances, such as lead, can be both natural and present due to human activities. For example, lead is naturally present in soil, water, air and rocks around the world. As a result, lead (and similar) chemicals are often present in herbs and commonly eaten foods, even when these chemicals are not intentionally added to nutritional supplements or foods.
Should I be worried?
You should always be mindful and cognizant of all product warnings. A Prop 65 warning does not automatically mean that the product is unsafe. In fact, Prop 65 warnings are seen throughout California in a wide range of settings -- including restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, hospitals, airports, parking garages, and coffee shops and on a wide variety of consumer products. In addition, some internet and mail order retailers have chosen to provide Prop 65 warnings on their websites or in catalogs for their products and for all consumers, not just California consumers.
Why don't all similar products carry the same warning?
Just because a product does not contain a warning does not necessarily mean that the products is free of the same substances at similar levels. Different companies choose to deal with Prop 65 in different ways. There are many reasons for this behavior. For example, if a company has been involved in a Prop 65 lawsuit, and if that company reaches a settlement, that settlement may require Prop 65 warnings for products. Some companies simply are never sued and do not provide warnings, even for products with similar levels of chemicals as are found in products sold by companies who have been sued. Other companies may not be involved in a settlement and may decide to warn, to avoid future lawsuits or because they believe they have a legal duty to provide the warning. Finally, some companies elect not to provide Prop 65 warnings because they determined that they are not required to do so under Prop 65 standards.
Where can I get more information?
If you want more information, please contact customer service at 1-800-544-1925. Again, please remember that just because another website or company does not have the warning, this does not automatically mean that the other brand is free of Proposition 65 listed chemicals or has lower levels of such chemicals.