Alert - Recently Enacted Changes to Prop. 65 Requirements

September 24, 2018

As of August 30, 2018, California businesses needed to be in compliance with the updated signage requirements of Proposition 65 or face fines up to $2,500 a day and potential litigation.

Proposition 65, officially known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was intended to address the growing concern of chemicals in drinking water. The initiative requires California businesses with 10 or more employees to provide warnings when they knowingly and intentionally cause significant exposure to listed chemicals.[1] There are currently over 850 chemicals listed and the list is continuing to grow.

These warnings have become fairly common in daily life of California consumers. Since 1988, Proposition 65 has required the warnings to state information such as, “a product may contain a chemical” or “detectable amount of chemicals” known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects.[2] Unfortunately, the warnings that were in compliance with Proposition 65 for the past 30 years became ineffective as August 30, 2018.

New regulations adopted in August 2016, which took full effect on August 30, 2018, mandate that all warnings need to comply with the updated requirements. For example, one of the new requirements is that a triangular yellow warning symbol, the name of at least one listed chemical, and the internet address for California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) appear on each of the warnings. Failure to comply can result in fines up to $2,500 a day and legal settlements that can reach $60,000-$80,000 for small businesses.[3]

If you own or operate a business in California with 10 or more employees, you must comply with these new regulations. Do not assume these regulations are reserved for just the consumer products industry. Proposition 65 also applies to areas and spaces, such as enclosed parking facilities, amusement parks, service stations, and designated smoking areas, as a few examples. To demonstrate the magnitude of these regulations, in just the last year there have been suits brought against chocolate, baked chips, gingerbread cookies, sunscreen, trampolines, flip flops, shea butter and more.[4]

For further information on the new regulations and compliance requirements please visit:





Authored by:
Cullen L. Schlievert, Esq.
T: (925) 944-9700

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