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About the Law

Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was enacted as a ballot initiative in November 1986. The Proposition was intended by its authors to protect California citizens and the State’s drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals. Under the statute, a person in the course of doing business cannot expose an individual to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity without first giving a clear and reasonable warning to an individual. Proposition 65 requires the state to maintain and update a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

Due to recent changes in the law, products manufactured after August 30, 2018 must now include the a “clear and reasonable warning” to ensure compliance with Proposition 65.

For general information on the Proposition 65 list of chemicals, you may contact OEHHA’s Proposition 65 program at (916) 445-6900, or visit For enforcement information, contact the California Attorney General’s Office at (510) 622-2160, or visit


The new regulations provide a long form warning, where at least one of the chemicals must be listed, or a short form warning, allowed only if the warnings are placed directly on a product or a product’s immediate packaging.

A warning of this type is also required for such commonly used products such as these: goods made of or containing leather, vinyl, foam, plastics and other synthetics; glassware, ceramics and tableware; batteries and/or products containing batteries; beauty and personal hygiene products (including first-aid kits and lotions); medicines, alcohol and even fish.

Phthalate Regulation

Phthalates, a family of chemicals that make plastics soft and pliable, are commonly used in the manufacture of PVC vinyl material. A wide spectrum of products are fabricated from PVC vinyl including furniture, shoes, purses, toys, bags, baby bibs, sporting equipment and hand tools.

Both federal (CPSIA) and California (AB1108) law limit the amount of certain phthalates that can be used in children’s toys and child care items.

A children’s toy is a product designed or intended by the manufacturer to be used by children when they play. A child-care article is defined as a product designed or intended by the manufacturer to facilitate sleep, relaxation or the feeding of children, or to help children with sucking or teething.

Toys used by children over the age of 3 but under age 12 that cannot be placed in a child’s mouth cannot contain phthalates known as: DEHP, DBP or BBP in concentrations greater than 0.1%.

Toys used by children younger than 3 years old or that may possibly be placed in a child’s mouth–as well as all child-care items–must not contain phthalates known as DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP or DnOP in concentrations greater than 0.1%.

For more information about Proposition 65 and its current complete substance list, please contact OEHHA’s Proposition 65 program at (916) 445-6900, or visit