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Why is a Proposition 65 Warning label important?

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Quick Answer

Proposition 65 warning labels help to ensure accountability among manufacturers and retailers whose products contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to consumers, their families and the environment. The law was designed to protect drinking water sources and consumer goods from toxic substances that can cause cancer and birth defects.

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Full Answer

California Proposition 65 is designed to help consumers make informed and safe decisions about what they purchase and consume. Prop 65, which was passed in 1986, forces products sold in California to carry a warning label if they contain any of 910 listed chemicals listed in significant amounts.

Proposition 65 warning labels are important because they protect consumers who may be dependent on certain products, while also holding the manufacturer or retailer accountable for potential harm caused by their products. The law regulates the use of substances that have a 1 in 1,000 chance of causing cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm by stopping producers from knowingly discharging any of the 910 listed chemicals into drinking water sources or onto land where they can reach drinking water sources. The Proposition also requires reasonable warning labels.

Enforcement of Proposition 65 is carried out through civil lawsuits brought by the California Attorney General, district attorneys or private parties. If found guilty, any business in violation of Prop 65 can be ordered to pay up to $2,500 per day per violation and ordered by the court to stop the violation.

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