Flame Retardant, Other Chemicals Proposed for Addition to California’s Prop 65 List
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has announced its intent to add N,N-dimethylformamide (a common solvent for chemical reactions), 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (used in the vulcanization of rubber), and tetrabromobisphenol A (a fire retardant) to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer (Proposition 65). Comments on this proposal are due no later than July 31.
Prop 65 does not ban or restrict the use of listed chemicals. Instead, 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.