Companies who sell lumber in California will need to consider including and/or updating warnings about dangerous chemicals in their products.
By August of 2018, Prop. 65 updates will require lumber that contains chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive problems, or birth defects to include a warning label that meets more rigorous standards. The Prop. 65 update requires warning labels to include the name or names of the chemical included in the product. Previously, Prop. 65 warnings could be more generic.
Additionally, the Prop. 65 update will require clearer indications that the product not only contains listed chemicals but also that consumers will be exposed to the chemical or chemicals.
A small triangular yellow warning symbol will also need to be included along with the Prop. 65 warning website, www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.
Wood dust was included in the list of Prop. 65 chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive harm, and/or birth defects in 1986 when the law was enacted. When enacted, Prop. 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, did not require companies to specify the chemicals included in their product that could cause consumers harm.
The Prop. 65 update changed these standards to help consumers make more informed decisions about the products they purchase and use.
Prop 65 Warnings
Under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, commonly known as Prop 65, a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive, or developmental problems is published by the State. There are more than 800 chemicals listed under Prop 65 currently.
Warnings must be provided to California consumers about products that contain chemicals listed under Prop. 65. These Prop. 65 updates to the warning requirements will be implemented in August of 2018. California Governor Brown stated that the new warning requirements will provide a more scientific basis for the labeling and 70% of Californians agree according to a recent poll by UC Davis.
Prop. 65 warnings must be provided to consumers before they are exposed to the chemical. Under the Prop. 65 updates, warnings will need to provide the name of the listed chemical. Companies who use listed chemicals in their products can also lower the amount of chemical used in the product to acceptable levels to come into compliance with the law. Companies who fail to do so or who fail to properly warn consumers can be hit with a Prop 65 warning letter from the State Attorney General or a concerned citizen.
Prop. 65 is a complex law to navigate. After being warned about Prop. 65 chemicals, companies have a window of time to resolve the issue or face additional litigation. Additionally, the State Attorney General must be notified of any Prop. 65 warning letters.
The attorneys at Bradley/Grombacher are currently investigating Prop 65 claims. If you are concerned about chemicals in the products you use, contact them today.