Q:

Are leather goods with California Proposition 65 warning labels safe?

A:

Quick Answer

If leather goods or any other items have a California Proposition 65 warning label on them, it means that the goods contain a potentially cancer-causing chemical. However, the warning does not mean that the product has not met all of the necessary product-safety requirements.

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Full Answer

California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is the department that administers the Proposition 65 program, but the office notes that it is necessary to contact the manufacturer of the product to determine why the product contains the Proposition 65 warning.

The OEHHA keeps a list of more than 800 chemicals that the state considers to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. However, it is up to individual companies to apply the warnings to their products, and the company does not have to disclose to the OEHHA the type or amount of the potentially cancer-causing chemicals their product contains. For this reason, the OEHHA does not have any information about the safety of any specific products.

Proposition 65, which was passed in 1986, is officially known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. In addition to requiring the warnings on any products that contain potentially cancer-causing agents, Proposition 65 also forbids companies in California from knowingly releasing significant amounts of these chemicals into drinking water.

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