New Prop 65 Warning Required for Furfuryl Alcohol

A new Prop 65 warning is now required for furfuryl alcohol. This requirement was initially mandated to begin on September 30th, 2017. Manufacturers of certain products with high levels of this material must display this information on the label.

Prop 65 Warning Label Mandated for High Levels of Furfuryl Alcohol in Products

The Prop 65 warning is drawn from California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. This law prohibits companies from using chemicals in their products that are known to lead to reproductive toxicity or cancer without providing reasonable and clear warnings affixed to those products. Furfuryl alcohol was originally added to the Prop 65 list in 2016 because it is believed to be a carcinogen.

Furfuryl alcohol is a compound that is often found in coffee, baked goods, alcoholic beverages like wine and beer, and milk as well as other thermally processed food items. Furfuryl alcohol emerges when sugar reacts with amino acids and this causes those thermally processed foods to have a golden-brown color and clear taste.

Consumers exposed to high levels of this compound may face an increased risk of cancer development. A Prop 65 warning gives consumers a choice about the products they use and consume with the underlying goal to help consumers avoid exposure to dangerous chemicals. The Prop 65 warning list is updated every single year to include new chemicals that are potential reproductive toxins or cancer-causing toxins.

If a product is determined to have high amounts of this compound inside after review by a toxicology expert, this would require a Prop 65 warning to be affixed to the label of any product containing furfuryl alcohol. Numerous organizations fought back against the inclusion of furfuryl alcohol on the Prop 65 list.

Those companies that fail to provide a clear and reasonable warning could be the recipients of a 60-day notice or be facing legal action as a result of their failure to comply.

The inclusion of furfuryl alcohol in a consumer product, however, does not always require a Prop 65 warning, however. If there is no high-risk level for exposure to consumers, also known as No Significant Risk Levels (NSRL), a Prop 65 warning is not required. However, a toxicologist must be retained on behalf of the company making the product to make this evaluation.

For any product that causes a high level of exposure to furfuryl alcohol beyond the NSRL, a Prop 65 warning is required by those manufacturers.

Toxicologists identifying whether or not a Prop 65 warning is required will use risk assessment principles and guidance documents developed by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to determine the daily exposure level that could identify a risk of cancer.

The NSRL is usually based on the level of exposure that would cause no more than 1 in 100,000 instances of cancer development over a lifetime of exposure.

Consumers play an important role in holding companies accountable when they identify violations of Prop 65 and notify those companies about non-compliance.

If you or someone you know believes you have grounds to pursue legal action based on a lack of Prop 65 warning, you need to consult with the experienced lawyers at Bradley/Grombacher today- fill out the form located on this page to learn more.