All distributor-facing and end buyer-facing SAGE services now support the new requirements for California’s Prop 65, which requires businesses to provide warnings about exposures to harmful chemicals that may cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm. The new Prop 65 requirements go into effect August 30.

Suppliers can now update their products with safe-harbor language for warning labels and provide documentation that proves their products were made with safe materials. Any products that fail to comply with the new Prop 65 regulations can result in a fine of up to $2,500 per day to the product’s supplier. Following the regulations of Prop 65 will also protect distributors against violations when selling to end-buyers.

“With the ability to make product listings in our database Prop 65 compliant, suppliers and distributors are not only lawfully protected from any retribution, but end-buyers in California will be fully equipped with the knowledge of what goes into making their products.” says Eric Natinsky, SAGE CEO. “Having these new disclosures in our system will help to solidify the integrity of distributors in the industry and ensure transparency to those purchasing and using promotional products.”

Across SAGE Online, SAGE Web and SAGE Mobile, a triangle warning symbol and label will appear directly below the product image. Suppliers can use one of the standard Prop-65 compliant warnings or customize the warning as needed.

Suppliers that wish to test their products for harmful chemicals should consult with a certified toxicologist to review the products and determine if exposure will exceed safe harbor limits. Whether products are proven safe or if they are Prop 65 compliant, suppliers will need to update their products through the SAGE Supplier Center. Distributors will be able to discern if a product is Prop 65 compliant by the warning label beneath the product image, or by viewing the status in the “Product Compliance” field under the “Additional Information” tab in SAGE Online. Distributors will also be able to view the supplier’s Prop 65 documentation under the “Additional Information” tab.

“We are so happy to hear SAGE is putting in their resources and efforts to ensure suppliers are able to notify distributors of the new Prop 65 requirements,” says Sharon Willochell, CAS, president, PCNA Apparel. “The upcoming changes will significantly impact our entire industry. There are many steps every supplier and distributor should take to protect their company from Prop 65 violations. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to product compliance, especially with Prop 65, there are some fundamental steps that every business should seriously consider when managing their risk. It’s helpful to know we can use SAGE to help us spread the word.”

David Natinsky, MAS, SAGE president, adds, “The changes to Prop 65 are going to affect our entire industry and it’s extremely important that, as the leading service provider, we continue to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to product safety requirements within the SAGE database. We have been working diligently alongside PPAI to prepare for the upcoming Prop 65 changes since the moment they were announced.”

The chemicals on the Prop 65 list consist of a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that include additives or ingredients in pesticides, common household products, food, drugs, dyes or solvents. The leading promotional product categories that are the most cited for violations are food and beverage, plumbing/HVAC, health care, personal accessories, clothing, tools and hand equipment, and sports equipment. Prop 65 is enforceable by district attorneys, city attorneys, or any individual acting in the public interest, and as such, many lawsuits and violations have been filed by private citizens and city officials alike. Over 90 percent of violations issued were for products containing heavy metals and phthalates.

“California Prop 65 will continue to be a challenge for both suppliers and distributors in our industry,” says Anne Stone, PPAI’s director of public affairs. “The looming changes to Prop 65 affect the language and design of the warning label and the timing of the warning. It is imperative that suppliers and distributors alike review their e-commerce platforms and ensure they are prepared to warn California customers prior to purchase. The on-product warnings must also continue to be applied.”

Prop 65 was first introduced in November 1986 so Californians could make informed decisions about their exposure to certain harmful chemicals. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) regulates and maintains the official list of substances deemed by the state as having a 1 in 100,000 chance of causing cancer over a 70-year period, or birth defects, or other reproductive harm.

The law prohibits the contamination of drinking water sources through the hazardous disposal of any listed materials, and requires manufacturers to provide a clear and reasonable warning on all products containing or exposed to the substances listed. As of August 31, this warning must be made available prior to a purchase, either by catalog or website, for any products containing such chemicals.

For more detail on the changes, and for tips to manage Prop 65, read the PPB article “California Prop 65 Ups Its Requirements” by Leeton Lee. PPAI has also published a new Product Responsibility Best Practices Guide. For specific questions on how the new Prop 65 regulations will be administered, contact the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment at or by calling 916-445-6900.