PROP 65: Swift with Changes
DINP was added to the PROP 65 List on December 2013 and businesses were given 12 months to determine and control exposures in products or be forced to place clear and reasonable warnings where exposures to the public are imminent. On December 20th, 2014, this allowance finally ended as businesses scrambled to address requirements with labels and warnings, after failing to remove products from the market presenting DINP exposure. Surely a near impossible task for manufacturers with complicated distribution channels, some of which are not within their control.
The OEHHA wasted no time in proposing a Safe Harbor Level of 146 micrograms per day for DINP though the period for public comment was extended to February 25, 2015 and this remains to be finalized.
This was shortly followed by the mid-January submission of the OEHHA’s (Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment) formal proposal to revise Title 27, Article 6 Sub-articles 1 & 2 of the California Code of Regulations addressing Clear and Reasonable Warnings.
While this proposal is pending approval, it presents significant changes to warning requirements including language, font size, the use of a pictograph and the mention of one or all of 12 identified substances on the warning should it present exposures in the product. To be clear, the so-called “Dirty Dozen” does not replace the PROP 65 list but have been identified as some of the most commonly found hazardous substances.
It also clarifies manufacturer and retailer responsibility, the expansion of which implies how liability will be determined in future litigation. For instance, manufacturers must provide warning materials to retailers with the provision that retailers acknowledge initial receipt and renew this acknowledgment every 180 days during the period it sells the product in California. Should retailers fail to post these warnings or should they obscure, alter or cover on-product warnings, they would assume responsibility.
This presents added risks for retailers if they lack vigilance in warning placement and maintenance, a likelihood given a workforce with a good number of casual or temporary workers where training may be diluted or altogether absent. Averse to this risk, retailer reactions have so far leaned towards demanding products that would instead present no exposures and thus, avoid the need for a warning.
While the PROP 65 list will certainly not remain static, material manufacturers have started responding by introducing more stringently restricted products. In the wake of the 2013 DINP listing, we introduced our 6P-Free General Use products formulated to meet the current PROP 65 list and have seen positive responses from customers wishing to remain in step with the regulation.
Though no assurance can be given that this will meet future requirements as more and more substances are added, it’s obvious that reformulation will be a continuous process and monitoring PROP 65 activity a daily diligence.
It’s clear that as the OEHHA ramps up to fulfill Gov. Jerry Brown’s intent to reform the statute, product and material manufacturers alike must respond with speed and innovation. One example of the proposed on-product warning for products that can expose the public to reproductive harm for instance, is shown simply as, “Reproductive Harm –www.P65Warnings.ca.gov”
Now, would you like a cup of cancer with that as well?
For more information on the availability of 6P-Free General Use films in your desired application, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.