Legislative Efforts To Revise California’s Prop 65 Move Forward

California’s Prop 65 was created in 1986 to protect consumers from harmful chemicals in the products they buy. It established education for citizens about exposure to certain chemicals, and mandated warning labels on products containing chemicals considered harmful.

The state’s Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) is engaged with stakeholders from numerous industries to revise the legislation to make it more relevant to the chemicals used in products and manufacturing processes today. Laying out the motivation behind the reform, Cal/EPA says, “Without a doubt Prop 65 is an important public health statute. However, much has changed since the passage of Prop 65 in 1986, and despite amendments to it in 2001 more needs to be done as the current situation is not ideal. The Administration has put forward a set of reforms to ensure a more effective statute that is better focused on informing the public about exposures while creating a less onerous business environment. The problems these reforms seek to address are: too much litigation that result in little or no public benefit, too many vague warning signs that do not inform and thresholds for establishing safe harbor levels for reproductive toxicants that are too rigid.”

Recently, the Cal/EPA’s legislative affairs department updated Prop 65 stakeholders on the process to revise the legislation. California State Senator Ted Lieu, who represents its 28th Senate district, has agreed to author the bill and is working with Cal/EPA staff to move it forward. Cal/EPA says, “The senator is sensitive to the needs of the business community, and is cognizant of the important role of Prop 65 in protecting public health, and his goals are consistent with those of the administration in this effort.”

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