Prop 65 Explained

Posted on 12/13/2018

Prop 65: If you’re in the promotional industry, you’ve probably heard this term, but you may have questions about what it means and why it matters. Proposition 65, which is short for the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, became law after California voters approved it in November 1986. It requires companies that do business in California to list warnings for California residents about significant amounts of present chemicals that can cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm. This applies to products that can be purchased (like drinking water), found in the home or at work, or released into the environment. Providing this information allows Californians to make informed decisions when it comes to their own exposure to such chemicals.

Proposition 65 is managed by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), an arm of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA). The current Proposition 65 list of chemicals, which is updated yearly, includes roughly 800 chemicals (both natural and synthetic) that require a warning symbol (on the product label, in the workplace, etc.) if they are not below safe harbor levels.

What are safe harbor levels? They help businesses determine whether a warning is necessary by identifying the level of exposure to a listed chemical. A company does not need to provide a warning if the chemical’s concentration is equal to or below the established level. OEHHA has created upwards of 300 safe harbor levels, and that current list is available here. Other workplaces/situations warrant exemption from the warning requirement, including government agencies, businesses with nine or fewer employees, and extremely low exposure that would cause no significant risk of harm.

How does all of this relate to us? The majority of Raining Rose products don’t contain any of the chemicals on the Prop 65 list, and the few ingredients we use that are on the list fall into safe harbor levels. While this means we don’t have to provide a warning on our product labels, we evaluate the Prop 65 list regularly to ensure we remain compliant (which, in turn, means distributors can trust our compliance practices).

Proposition 65 can seem overwhelming, but we hope we’ve been able to minimize confusion. To learn more about the topic, visit or contact the program at (916) 445-6900.