Background

Effective July 7, 2017, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment added glyphosate, the active ingredient in a number of weed killers, to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer for purposes of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).

As a result, beginning July 7, 2018, businesses will be required to provide a “clear and reasonable” warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to glyphosate 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. OEHHA has now approved a safe harbor level for glyphosate of 1100 micrograms per day, effective July 1. As a result, no warning will be required for exposures to glyphosate below this level, but businesses with 10 or more employees who cause exposures above this level might need to provide warnings.

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