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Vinylidene Chloride Among New Substances Added to California’s Prop 65 List

January 9, 2018

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) listed vinylidene chloride, which is sometimes used in coating formulations for food packaging, as a carcinogen under Proposition 65. The listing became effective December 29, 2017. Also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Proposition 65 prohibits knowingly exposing any individual to a listed chemical without first providing a “clear and reasonable warning” to such individual. 

OEHHA cited the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) classification of vinylidene chloride as a Group 2B substance (“possibly carcinogenic to humans”) as the basis for the listing under the Labor Code.  (See OEHHA’s  September 22, 2017 Notice of Intent to list Vinylidene Chloride for more details.) The Notice of Intent also initiated a 45-day public comment period, however, OEHHA did not receive any comments before the deadline.

OEHHA previously proposed a No Significant Risk Level (NSRL) for vinylidene chloride of 0.88 micrograms per day in September 2017. A warning is not required for products resulting in an exposure less than the NSRL, which is defined as the level of exposure that would result in not more than one excess case of cancer in 100,000 individuals exposed to the chemical over a 70-year lifetime.

PFOS and PFOA Added to Prop 65 List Reproductive Toxicants

OEEHA also added perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity (developmental endpoint) under Proposition 65, effective November 10, 2017. (Notice of the listing can be found on OEHHA’s website.)

PFOS and PFOA were added to the Proposition 65 list under the authoritative body mechanism, based on documents published in 2016 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These documents are:

The authoritative body mechanism requires that an authoritative body formally identify a chemical as causing reproductive toxicity pursuant to Cal. Code Regs. tit. 27, § 25306(d). OEHHA received comments questioning whether the EPA documents were adequate to support the listing criteria under the authoritative bodies mechanism. OEHHA determined that the criteria were met.