Mandatory Warnings in California Have Changed – Are You Compliant With Prop 65?

Posted by Renzulli Law Firm on 10/11/18 2:58 PM

Significant changes to California’s Proposition 65 (Prop 65) went into effect on August 30.  As a result, many warnings currently in use are ineffective and non-compliant and must be revised immediately for any product manufactured on or after August 30.

Enacted in 1986, California’s Proposition 65 (commonly called “Prop 65”) requires businesses to provide a warning regarding products that can lead to exposure to chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.  Prop 65, especially in recent years, has spawned a tidal wave of lawsuits against companies whose products allegedly do not meet Prop 65’s warning requirements.  These lawsuits are brought by private plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking substantial monetary damages.  In 2017, Prop 65 settlements totaled more than a whopping $25 million, the overwhelming majority (more than $19 million) of which consisted of attorneys’ fees and costs. 

Under the new regulations, either a “full” or “short” warning must be placed on the outside of the package (or on a label on the shelf where the product is displayed), and in catalogs and webpages where products can be purchased by California residents.  A “full” warning specifically identifies one or more chemicals from each category of chemicals it contains, whereas a “short” warning simply indicates “Cancer and/or Reproductive Harm” as applicable, without further identification, as shown in these examples:

 

FULL WARNING

 

WARNING This product can expose you to chemicals including lead, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov

 

SHORT WARNING

 

WARNING Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.”

 

When other warnings and directions are given in a language other than English, the Prop 65 warning must be given in that language as well.   For firearms, the new Prop 65 warnings will also have to be given in Spanish because California Penal Law § 23640, a law that dictates specific child safety warning requirements for firearms sold in California (and which was also recently revised) requires the warning to be given in English and Spanish. 

Do you have questions about Prop 65?

Renzulli Law Firm specialists are available during NASGW Expo to answer questions...

Please join us at the NASGW Expo on October 17 in Room 328 at the Convention Center between the hours of 10:00-12:00 and from 2:00-4:00.  We will be available to answer your questions (or just to say hello) about trending topics and issues impacting the sporting goods industry (and NASGW members in particular), including critical changes to California’s Prop 65 regulations, product liability, industry legislation, ATF compliance issues, Export Administration Regulations (EAR), International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), patents, trademarks, and many other areas impacting the industry.  While at the Expo, you can reach us by text/cell at 914-589-7394.  See you at the Expo!

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