Attention California Residents:
As explained in more detail below, California’s Proposition 65 requires special warnings for products that contain, or will expose a consumer, to chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm if above certain threshold levels.
The general Proposition 65 notice for products containing or comprising of plastic is as follows:
WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
California Proposition 65 Warning
In recent years, the above stated warning can be found in a wide-range of products including hospital equipment, toys, clothing, furniture, and even fitness equipment.
Omnium Cargo, Inc., products meets all US and EU safety standards. While Omnium Cargo, Inc., continues to stand behind the quality and safety of its products, as it has done for the past 10 years, Omnium Cargo, Inc., joins other manufactures in providing the Proposition 65 notice for products that might be subject to California law.
The widespread use of the label is a result of the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as Proposition 65.
What Does the Warning Really Mean?
The warning does not mean that the products will cause cancer or reproductive harm. Indeed, while California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard lists over 800 chemicals found in everyday products that it deems harmful, the state agency notes that a product containing the warning, as a result of the presence of the listed chemicals in the product, may not be in violation of any product-safety standards or requirements. Instead, the warning functions to notify the consumer that the chemicals contained in the product, if used under certain conditions, might exceed the “no significant risk level” exposure for cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm.
For cancer, no significant risk means not more than one excess case in 100,000 individuals exposed over a 70-year lifetime. In English, this means if an individual is exposed to the listed chemical every day for 70 years, it would theoretically increase his/her chances of developing cancer by more than 1 case in 100,000 individuals exposed in the same manner.
As for birth defects or reproductive harm, no significant risk means not more than 1/1000th of the “no observable effect level.” The “no observable effect level” is the highest dose level that has been shown to not pose any harm to humans or lab animals. So, no significant risk in this regard is the “no observable effect level” divided by 1000.
Why Include the Warning?
The State of California imposes substantial penalties for failing to comply with the notification requirements of Proposition 65. In addition, the costs to defend against a claim of violation from all who are allowed to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the State (including private law firms and individuals) can easily cripple a business. As a result, Omnium Cargo, Inc., and many other manufacturers in various industries have elected to provide the notice to prevent what could be an endless wave of groundless lawsuits even though the level of exposure is well within legal limits.
Further, as is the case with many other manufactures, our products can be found throughout the country. So as to ensure compliance with Proposition 65, the warnings can be found even in areas outside of the State of California.
As previous noted, the penalties for not complying with Proposition 65 are steep. As a result of the potential penalties, and because there is no penalty for providing an unnecessary warning, Omnium Cargo, Inc., as well as many other manufacturers, have elected to provide this Proposition 65 notice out of an abundance of caution in order to avoid the potential for liability.
Omnium Cargo, Inc., products are sold nationwide. It would be extremely difficult and costly to determine which products will be ultimately sold or brought into California. Therefore to insure compliance with Proposition 65 requirements, we have decided to include these warnings for all our products, regardless of origin.
For more information about Proposition 65, visit: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/getNSRLs.html