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Demystifying Prop 65

All your questions about Prop 65, answered.

Demystifying Prop 65

WHAT IS THIS WARNING?

California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, more commonly referred to as Cal Prop 65, is a unique law that applies only to California.  It is a labeling regulation for California consumers. It is not an FDA or national standard related to health or safety.

It was enacted  as a ballot initiative  in 1986 and sought to prevent contamination of California’s drinking water. In addition, it required that warnings be printed on products containing one of over 800  listed substances kept up to date on the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) website. The list includes naturally occurring substances  and synthetic substances that are known to cause cancer,  birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Even if a product is acceptable in California, Proposition 65 requires a consumer warning on the  label of  any product that exceeds the perceived safety levels the state has set for various substances. The amount of the particular substance in dietary supplements that triggers the label warning is very low.

WHY IS THIS WARNING APPLIED TO SOME WSH PRODUCTS?

A microscopic amount of lead triggers this warning. The level that triggers this warning is far below the level associated with actual reproductive harm. Because Prop 65 warning levels are stringently low, it is common to find such warnings posted in California restaurants, hotels, schools, grocery stores, hospitals, etc.

It is not a national standard relating to the health or safety of the product. No other state has such a labeling regulation as there is no warning required for sales to residents of the other 49 states. All of our products are tested for heavy metals to ensure we meet guidelines put forth by the FDA. However, because we ship to California and have other stockists in California, or who sell online and ship there as well, we believe it is best practice to include the warning.

HOW DOES PROP 65 COMPARE TO FEDERAL LIMITS AND THE FDA?

Take lead for example. Lead exists in our air, soil, water, and food crops. Much of it comes from industrial use.  It is regulated by the Federal Government through the EPA through various acts such as the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Clean Air Act. he FDA monitors and regulates lead in food, foodwares, and dietary supplements this includes many items including  bottled water, ceramics, and herbal products for example. The FDA defines 12.5 micrograms as the daily maximum intake for lead. The California OEHHA defines the maximum allowable dose of lead to avoid reproductive toxicity at 0.5 micrograms per day.

WHAT TYPES OF CHEMICALS AND PRODUCTS ARE ON THE PROP 65 LIST?

You can find the full list on the OEHHA website as well as information on how chemicals are added to the list.

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE?

This is a great opportunity to learn more: knowledge is awesome. You can find information on the OEHHA, the FDA, and the EPA websites. And if you care about any of these issues, register to vote :)

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