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California Adds Three Chemicals to Prop 65 List; Warnings to be Required

Monday, May 23, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Effective May 20, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has added tetrachlorvinphos, parathion and malathion to the list of chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer for purposes of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65). Since this list was first published in 1987 it has grown to include approximately 900 chemicals.

Beginning one year after a chemical is added to the prop 65 list, businesses are required to provide a “clear and reasonable” warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to that chemical unless they can show that the anticipated exposure level will not pose a significant risk of cancer or is significantly below levels observed to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. This warning can be given in several ways; e.g., labeling a consumer product. However, no such warning is required if exposure to a chemical occurs at or below any established safe harbor level, and OEHHA states that it intends to propose a safe harbor level for malathion prior to the effective date of the warning requirement.

Prop 65 also prohibits companies that do business within California from knowingly discharging listed chemicals into sources of drinking water, a requirement that kicks in 20 months after a chemical is listed.

OEHHA states that a decision concerning the proposed listing of glyphosate will be published at a later date.

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