California Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was enacted as a ballot initiative in November 1986.
California Proposition 65:
- Was intended to protect California citizens and the state’s drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals
- Prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water
- Requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. This list, which must be updated at least once a year, has grown to include approximately 900 chemicals since it was first published in 1987
The list of chemicals contains a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that include additives or ingredients in pesticides, common household products, food, drugs, dyes, or solvents. Listed chemicals may also be used in manufacturing and construction, or they may be byproducts of chemical processes, such as motor vehicle exhaust.
By California law, a warning must be given for listed chemicals unless the exposure is low enough to pose no significant risk of cancer or is significantly below levels observed to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Detex’s warning label looks like this:
For a full list of chemicals on the California Proposition 65 list, and to read more on California Proposition 65, visit their website.