What You Need To Know About California Proposition 65


What You Need to Know About California Proposition 65

If you are a supplier or distributor of products in California, you should be aware of the recent changes made to the California Proposition 65 regulation. I.D. Images is here to provide you with key information regarding California Proposition 65 labels and why they are important.

What is California Proposition 65?


According to The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), California’s Proposition 65 is a regulation to inform Californians about products that contain chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Proposition 65 was enacted in 1986 and is also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. Proposition 65 requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. Businesses with 10 or more employees are required to provide warnings on products and in environments containing the chemicals. The warnings allow consumers in California to make educated decisions when purchasing a product that could be potentially harmful.

What should you know?


OEHHA updated the regulation in August 2018 to require label warnings be made available prior to purchase on any product containing a potentially dangerous chemical. Moreover, the list of chemicals is constantly changing, so distributors should monitor the Proposition 65 warnings website regularly for updates. The common warning symbol (pictured below) was also developed and should be used to warn consumers shopping online or through catalogs. Companies that do not comply with the proposition can face penalties up to $2,500 per violation per day. Distributors can avoid these penalties by labeling the product with a Proposition 65 warning label, posting signs in the workplace affected, distributing notices at a rental housing complex affected or publishing notices in a newspaper.


What needs to be on your warning label?


In order to comply with the updated California Proposition 65 Regulation, labels need to contain the following information:

  • A warning symbol placed to the left of text in the warning and no smaller than the height of the word “Warning”
  • Clear and Reasonable language
    • “WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm”
    • You can view a full detailed list of “Clear and Reasonable Warning” wording  here.
  • “WARNING” must be capitalized and in a bold font no smaller than 10 point type
  • Font must be no smaller than 8 point type
  • A link to https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/ to provide consumers with additional information, if needed


It is important to educate and keep your customers informed on updates regarding the California Proposition 65 regulation to avoid lawsuits and fees. Even if your customer is not located in California, shipments of products being sold in California will be required to have the Proposition 65 label.


Where can you learn more?


To learn more about California Proposition 65 labels, visit https://www.p65warning.ca.gov/ and visit PSDA’s article on Proposition 65 labels.

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