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California Finalizes Prop 65 Warning Regulations

Sep 14, 2016

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has adopted amendments to the “clear and reasonable warning” requirements under Proposition 65 that make significant changes to how these warnings must be written and shared with consumers.

Prop 65, also called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, requires anyone doing business in the state of California to provide a warning for any product that contains one or more of the chemicals that OEHHA says is “known to the state of California” to cause cancer or reproductive harm. These warnings must be made in a clear and reasonable way under the law.


OEHHA outlined new language that companies must include in the warnings, such as adding the name of at least one of the listed substances for which the warning is being provided. However, if these warnings are provided on the product, the name or names of chemicals do not need to be listed. The new warning for non-food products must include a yellow pictogram of an exclamation point in a triangle.

The warning statements also must direct consumers to OEHHA’s new Prop 65 website, which contains additional information about listed chemicals.

Food companies have the option of providing the warning on the product itself or, after notifying the retailer, in the form of a product sign, label or shelf tag that would be placed near the point of sale. Food products with warnings must feature them in a box and set them apart from other label information.

Companies that already provide Prop 65 warnings for their products have until August 30, 2018, to make these changes. In the interim, companies can decide to comply with the previous clear and reasonable warning requirements or adhere to the new regulation.

The final regulation and more information can be found here.

Members with questions may contact Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel, at

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