What to Know About California Proposition 65 Signs

Our California Proposition 65 Signs Compliance – Resource Bulletin will help you understand some of the rules and regulations regarding sign requirements for substances that the state of California has labeled harmful. Topics include:

  • Warning requirements
  • Warning content
  • Food warnings
  • Alcohol beverage warnings
  • Environmental and occupational warnings
  • Links to relevant regulations

Click the image to open this bulletin as a pdf file.

Bulletin Overview

The Safe Drinking and Toxic Enforcement Act, also known as California Proposition 65 (Prop 65), is a California law passed in 1986. Its purpose is to protect drinking water sources from substances known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm and to warn the general public when such substances are present in consumer products or may be present in a specific area at a place of business or employment. The requirements of the law appear in Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations and are administered by The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).

The OEHHA publishes a list of chemicals and substances known to cause cancer or reproductive disorders. These chemicals might be present in common household products or may be used in manufacturing and construction. Listed chemicals may also be the byproducts of chemical processes, such as motor vehicle exhaust. The list is updated yearly and currently contains approximately 800 chemicals.

Prop 65 requires that businesses provide a warning notice to citizens if significant amounts of the listed chemicals are present in the products they purchase, are found at a public facility or place of employment, or have been released into the environment. The law also forbids businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of these chemicals into sources of drinking water. Businesses with less than 10 employees and government agencies are exempt from Prop 65 requirements.

Prop 65 is a “right to know” law rather than a pure product safety law. Its intent is that Californians have a right to know when they may be exposed to chemicals that cause cancer or reproductive harm so that they can make the decision whether or not to expose themselves to the specific risk in the warning.

On August 30, 2016, the Office of Administrative Law approved the adoption of amendments to Title 27, Article 6, Clear and Reasonable Warning of the California Code of Regulations. The regulation will be operative on August 30, 2018. The following information reflects the amendments to Article 6. In the interim, businesses may comply with the regulation in effect on August 30, 2016, or the provisions of the new regulation.