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California’s Prop 65 Lead Agency Website has Launched

April 22, 2016

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recently launched its new Lead Agency Website that provides additional information to consumers on exposure to chemicals listed under Proposition 65. Proposition 65, or the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, requires California to publish a list of chemicals "known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity."  The law mandates, in part, that no person may knowingly expose any individual to a significant amount of a listed chemical without first providing a "clear and reasonable warning" to such individual.  

The Lead Agency Website is one of two rulemaking initiatives undertaken by OEHHA to increase the level of detail provided to Californians under Proposition 65.  Specifically, if your product bears a Proposition 65 warning, you may receive a request from OEHHA to provide the information on the location of the chemical in the product, the concentration (including mean, minimum, and mode) of the listed chemical in the final product, anticipated routes of exposure, estimated levels of exposure, and “any other related information concerning exposures to listed chemicals." If the company does not have this information, it does not need to generate it. OEHHA may post all of this information on the Lead Agency Website. OEHHA cannot request privileged information, and there is a mechanism for dealing with confidential information. 

The second rulemaking initiative would revise the warning language to define “clear and reasonable” to obligate identification of the Proposition 65 listed chemicals present in the given product and refer consumers to the Lead Agency Website for additional information.  Additional information on the pending warning requirement rulemaking can be found here.

Currently, the website is sparsely populated and contains information on a few types of products (alcohol, furniture, petroleum, and raw wood products) and places (i.e., amusement parks, dental offices, smoking areas, and enclosed parking lots).  Each listed chemical has its own page and explains the basis for the listing.  It does not, for example, link to OEHHA’s documents on the substance.