Many of us in the printing industry print unique signs and labels. The reason for signs and labels is to educate and inform.
Effective August 30, 2018, the state of California amended a measure adopted by voters in 1986. Designated as Proposition 65 on the ballot, the actual title is “Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.”
To be compliant to this law, California requires business owners in California and companies doing business in California to provide signs and labels to educate and inform the citizens of California.
This law affects everyone from coffee sellers to manufacturing facilities to apartment complexes. But in summary, after businesses determine whether their product or facility contains a Prop 65 chemical, they need to provide a warning via a sign or label. That’s it.
While it might be appropriate for some of these over 800 chemicals on list to be removed from products, others impact on humans and the environment is suspect.
Remember, the intent of the law is to enable Californians to make informed decisions about protecting themselves from exposure to these chemicals. Proposition 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water.
Businesses are required to provide a “clear and reasonable” warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical, unless the business 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, such as by labeling a consumer product, posting signs at the workplace, distributing notices at a rental housing complex, or publishing notices in a newspaper. The requirement to provide warnings takes effect one year after a chemical is added to the list.
Proposition 65 also prohibits companies that do business within California from knowingly discharging listed chemicals into sources of drinking water. Once a chemical is listed, businesses have 20 months to comply with the discharge prohibition.
At Fujifilm, our ink products comply with this law by properly sharing the information on our Safety Data Sheets (SDS) in Section 15.
We also comply with this law by properly showing the triangle warning symbol along with a link to the Prop 65 website.
For further information, Marcy Kinter, Vice President Government & Business Information, SGIA wrote an article published in the SGIA Journal Graphic Edition September/October 2018 [page 36 – 37]. Marcy does a great job of stating the law and compliance steps.
As a printer with a finished product that includes substrates, inks, etc., her summary statement may ease you mind. Marcy states “Given the relatively low concentration of Prop 65 chemicals found in substrates, inks, coatings and adhesives, testing the finished product will most likely result in showing that no warning is required.”
If you are interested in ready about this law first hand, visit the government of California web site at https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/about-proposition-65
As I stated earlier, remember the intent of the law – to enable Californians to make informed decisions about protecting themselves from exposure to these chemicals (“known to the State of California” to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity). Proposition 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water.
The reason for signs and labels is to educate and inform.