- On January 8, 2021, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced proposed Proposition 65 rulemaking that would limit use of the short-form version of the safe harbor warning. Since it became an option in 2016, manufacturers have gravitated toward the short-form warning, which does not require the disclosure of chemical name(s) in the warning.
- OEHHA is seeking to limit the use of short-form warnings by proposing various changes, including:
- Only allowing the short-form warning (a) on products with 5 square inches or less of “label space” (which is not defined) and (b) when the standard warning will not fit.
- Prohibiting the short-form warning for internet and catalog sales (even if the short-form warning is provided on the product itself in compliance with the regulations).
- Requiring that the name of at least one chemical per relevant toxicity endpoint be included in the short-form warning; and
- Including the words “Risk” and “Exposure” in the warning.
Under the proposal, the new warning would read (when warning for both toxicity endpoints), “ WARNING: Cancer Risk from [insert chemical name] and Reproductive Risk from [insert chemical name] Exposure – www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.” (The existing minimum type size requirements under the current regulations would not change.) In addition to requiring more transparency concerning the identity of chemicals in the warning, OEHHA intends the proposed changes to dissuade businesses from over-warning.
- OEHHA is accepting comments on the proposal through March 8, 2021. Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys actively advise clients on compliance issues and enforcement actions under Proposition 65. If you have any questions concerning the proposed rulemaking or other Proposition 65 matters, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.