Proposition 65 Warnings Have Changed! Are You Prepared?
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Proposition 65 Warnings Have Changed! Are You Prepared?

California is making changes to the Proposition 65 Clear and Reasonable Warnings

On September 2, 2016, California adopted a final rule amending Title 27, Article 6 of the California Code of Regulations. In this amendment, California has adopted the following changes to § 25603. The changes allow for some flexibility in labeling. These new requirements are:

1) Placement of a symbol consisting of a black exclamation point in a yellow equilateral triangle with a bold black outline; an example of this symbol is shown above for clarity. 

a. Where the sign, label or shelf tag for the product is not printed using the color yellow, the symbol may be printed in black and white. 

b. The symbol must be placed to the left of the text of the warning, in a size no smaller than the height of the word “WARNING” [See 2) below]. 

 

2) The word “WARNING” in all capital letters and bold print.

3) One of the following warnings: 

a. For exposures to listed carcinogens, the words, “This product can expose you to chemicals including [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause cancer. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov. ”

b. For exposures to listed reproductive toxicants, the words, “This product can expose you to chemicals including [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.”

c. For exposures to both listed carcinogens and reproductive toxicants, the words, “This product can expose you to chemicals including [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause cancer, and [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.”

d. For exposures to a chemical that is listed as both a carcinogen and a reproductive toxicant, the words, “This product can expose you to chemicals including [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov. ” 

e. Where a warning is being provided for an exposure to a single chemical the words “chemicals including” may be deleted from the warning content set out in subsections (A), (B), (C) and (D). 

 

4) For product label warnings, there is a shorter option. You must meet these requirements:

a. The symbol and word “WARNING” as described in 1) and 2) above.

b. For consumer products that cause exposures to a listed carcinogen, the words, “Cancer - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.” 

c. For consumer products that cause exposures to a listed reproductive toxicant, the words, “Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.”

d. For consumer products that cause exposures to both a listed carcinogen and a reproductive toxicant, the words, “Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov” 

e. If the options in 4) are used, the name of a specific chemical is not required.


These warning are required at point of sale, including internet purchases.  For warnings posted as a shelf sign, shelf tag, or warning posted at the point of sale within an establishment, the  warnings as described in 1) through 3) above must be used; shortened warnings are not expressly permitted for signage under the new regulations. For internet purchases, the warning may either be placed on the webpage advertising the product, or by placing a clearly marked hyperlink using the word “WARNING”. The regulations specifically stipulate that a warning is not considered to be prominently displayed if a potential buyer much search elsewhere within the website to locate it. For catalog purchases, the same rule applies involving a prominent display. The shortened warnings listed above in 4) may be used on webpages and in catalogs.  

There are two additional requirements that should be noted. First, there is a requirement for type size. For the shortened warnings in 4) above, the entire warning must be in a type size no smaller than the largest type size used for other consumer information on the product. In no case shall the warning appear in a type size smaller than 6-point type. Therefore, the type size must be at least the same size as any signal word required on the front of the container under the Consumer Product Safety Commission rules. See 16 Code of Federal Regulations §1500.121 for the required sizes, based on total label size. Finally, labels that have multiple languages must have the required warnings in all languages. 



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