What Are Proposition 65 Warning Signs?


Quick Answer

Proposition 65 warning signs are signs that businesses use to notify consumers of possible exposure to chemicals that the state of California has determined cause cancer or birth defects or adversely affect reproductive health. Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide this warning.

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Full Answer

All businesses in California, except those employing fewer than 10 people and government agencies, must follow the requirements of Proposition 65. Businesses determine if a warning for a specific chemical is needed by consulting a list that is maintained by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. This list is updated yearly and includes a safe harbor level for some chemicals to help businesses decide whether a warning is needed.

If the anticipated exposure level falls below the safe harbor level, a warning is not required. However, a business may choose to provide a warning without attempting to measure exposure. If there is no safe harbor level, businesses must post a warning unless they can prove the risk of exposure to the chemical is negligible. Once a chemical has been listed, businesses have 12 months to comply with the warning requirements. If a business fails to comply, fines up to $2,500 per day for every violation are possible.

Proposition 65 is enforced by the California attorney general, but members of the public may also file a lawsuit if they believe a business is in violation of the law.

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