List of Products Covered by California Proposition 65: An Overview

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California Prop 65 Product List

California Proposition 65 regulates chemicals and heavy metals in consumer products sold in the state of California. More specifically, California Proposition 65  applies to consumer products, such as apparel and textiles, jewelry, accessories, and home products.

In this guide, we list some of the products and materials covered by California Proposition 65 and highlight associated substance risks.

Product List Creation Methodology

In this guide, we only list products that are mentioned on www.p65warnings.ca.gov. The website either mentions:

a. Specific product categories (e.g. “motor vehicle parts”), or

b. Specific substances (e.g. lead and lead compounds) and, for each substance, examples of products that might contain it (e.g. ceramic dishes)

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What is California Proposition 65?

California’s Proposition 65 is known officially as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 and is administered by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).

The proposition requires businesses selling in California to either:

a. Ensure that their products do not contain substances in an amount greater than the limit set up by the proposition

b. Provide the state’s residents with product warning labels that explain how they could be exposed to chemicals that could cause birth defects, cancer, or other types of reproductive harm, by using the products

At the moment, the list of restricted substances under California Proposition 65 contains around 1,000 items. The OEHHA updates this list at least once a year.

Food Contact Materials

The OEHHA provides substances that may be present in food contact materials. Here we list a few of those substances, which could potentially cause harm to consumers:

Examples

Below we list several food contact materials that may contain lead and lead compounds:

  • Ceramic dishes
  • Pewters
  • Brass faucets and fittings

California Proposition 65’s website lists several consumer food contact materials that may contain phthalates:

  • Plastic lunchboxes
  • Plastic food packaging materials

BPA may be found in several consumer food contact materials, such as:

  • Jar lids
  • Baby bottles
  • Sippy cups

Apparel and Textiles

Some chemical substances restricted under California Proposition 65 (e.g. flame retardants or formaldehyde) are likely to be found in apparel and textile products. Flame retardants (e.g. PFOA) are often used in textile products to lessen the chances of them catching fire.

Formaldehyde is also a dangerous substance that may be found in these products. It is a gas that may be released into the air from various sources, such as permanent press fabrics.

These substances are often used during the manufacturing of textiles and their accessories.

Examples

Products that might contain flame retardants, formaldehyde, or other restricted substances might include

  • Textiles
  • Outdoor gear
  • Carpets
  • Rugs
  • Camping tents
  • Linens
  • Upholstery
  • Draperies

Jewelry and Accessories

California Proposition 65 regulates the amount of heavy metals and other substances contained in jewelry. One of the most notable chemicals that are used during the manufacturing process of jewelry is cadmium, which is often added to jewelry to impart specific technical and functional attributes to the metals.

Other than cadmium, the following toxic heavy metals are often found in the making of jewelry, which is restricted by California Proposition 65:

  • Lead
  • Cadmium
  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Chromium

Examples

Cadmium is often used in jewelry to provide a shiny aspect to the coating and weight to products such as:

  • Metal jewelry
  • Charms on children’s jewelry

Lead is a substance used in many jewelry products to increase their weight and brightness, or soften plastic parts. This includes:

  • Imitation leather (which may include leather jewelry)
  • Costume jewelry

Watches

California’s Proposition 65 website does not explicitly list watches, according to our knowledge. However, it is important to note that Proposition 65 does cover many materials and substances such as lead and phthalates that may be used to manufacture watches components such as the watch case or strap.

Examples

Here are some examples of products that contain materials that might include substances restricted by California Proposition 65:

  • Watches with leather straps
  • Watches with plastic straps

Toys

Toxic chemicals such as flame retardant chemicals, phthalates, and hydrogen cyanide could sometimes be found in the coatings of plastic toys. Such substances are restricted by California Proposition 65 in the use of consumer products, including toys.

Other than toys that are made of plastic, toys that contain materials such as plush, fabric, wood, or ceramic, could contain restricted toxic substances under the regulation of California Proposition 65.

Examples

Toys that may contain the abovementioned chemicals and substances include items such as the following:

  • Teddy bears
  • Wooden toy cars
  • Pretend tea sets
  • Rubber ducks

Furniture

Newly-purchased furniture generally gives out odors that contain harmful chemical substances such as formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, and other volatile organic gas. Fluoride and fire retardants are also very commonly detected in various kinds of sofas, which can cause health issues such as liver cancer, kidney cancer, and reproductive and developmental issues to the users.

Examples

Furniture products may contain chemicals regulated by California Proposition 65. Examples of furniture materials that could contain some of the above chemicals include:

  • Textiles
  • Vinyl textiles on cushions and upholstery

Formaldehyde can be found in resins used to make adhesives for composite wood products for furniture. This includes:

  • Particleboard
  • Fiberboard
  • Plywood

Electronics

Toxic chemical substances and heavy metals that can be found within electronic products (or their casing) include lead, PBDE, antimony, and PVC. California Proposition 65 restricts the usage of all the above-mentioned chemical substances.

Examples

PBDE is a flame retardant that may be found in the plastics used with electronic and electrical devices, such as the following:

  • Personal computers
  • Household appliances

Cadmium and its compounds can be found in many electrical products, such as rechargeable nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries. Products that use NiCad batteries include items such as the following:

  • Cameras
  • Cell phones
  • Electric cars

E-cigarettes

E-cigarettes discharge a vapor that typically contains nicotine. California’s Proposition 65 covers nicotine because it may cause birth defects or some form of reproductive harm. Some e-cigarettes also emit other substances such as lead and cadmium, which are also covered by the proposition.

Additionally, e-cigarettes are electronic devices as they use batteries to either:

a. Heat an e-liquid (a liquid solution inside the device), or

b. Heat solid substances (e.g., nicotine salts)

The components of the e-cigarettes may also contain chemicals and substances restricted by California Proposition 65, such as phthalates.

Examples

Examples of e-cigarettes include items such as the following:

  • E-cigars
  • E-pipes
  • E-hookahs
  • Vape pens

Beauty & Care Products

In recent years, reports against cosmetic products on exceeding amounts of toxins have been heard more often. Non-compliant cosmetics often contain heavy metal substances such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, or mercury.

These toxins can cause harm to the skin, brain, and nervous system and even cancer, and, as such, they are under the purview of California Proposition 65.

Examples

Lead can be found in cosmetics, such as the following:

  • Kohl
  • Surma
  • Hair dyes

Mercury may be used in beauty products such as the following:

  • Skin-lightening creams
  • Anti-aging skin creams
  • Acne treatment skin creams
  • Nail polishes

Medical Equipment

Many types of medical equipment comprise different chemicals and substances, many of which may be restricted by California Proposition 65.

For example, mercury can be found in dental amalgam fillings, which is a material used during a medical dental procedure, Mercury exposure can result in childhood behavioral problems. California Proposition 65 also restricts the use of six types of phthalates in medical devices because they can cause reproductive harm. The six phthalates are as follows:

  • BBP
  • DBP
  • DEHP
  • DIDP
  • DINP
  • DnHP

Examples

Here we list some examples of medical equipment that may contain chemicals or substances covered by California’s Proposition 65:

  • Surgical gloves
  • Oxygen masks
  • Feeding tubes
  • Tubing for dialysis
  • Some types of blood and IV bags

Gym Equipment

California Proposition 65 restricts many substances and chemicals such as chlorinated tris and other flame retardants, which might be contained in gym equipment components such as textiles, plastics, and polyurethane foam.

Examples

Flame retardants such as chlorinated tris, TBBPA, and TCEP and other restricted substances may be found in items such as:

  • Gym equipment that contains foam
  • Gym equipment plastic components

Motor Vehicle Parts

Components of, and used in, motor vehicles may have substances and chemicals that are restricted by California Proposition 65, such as automobile upholstery.

For example, motor vehicle parts may contain chemicals and substances such as DEHP, lead and lead compounds, and phthalates.

Examples

Certain chemicals and substances, for example, lead, phthalates, and asbestos may be found in motor vehicle parts such as the following:

  • Lead-acid batteries
  • Floor mats
  • Seat covers
  • Brake pads

Building Materials

Building materials may often contain chemicals and substances such as formaldehyde, styrene, and flame retardants, among other chemicals. It is mandatory for importers and manufacturers of building materials in California to conform to the requirements of California Proposition 65.

Examples

Building materials that may contain various chemicals and substances include items such as:

  • Building insulation
  • Plumbing pipes
  • Insulated panels
  • Rubber flooring
  • Foam and fiberglass insulation

Food

A wide range of food products contains chemicals and substances that are regulated by California Proposition 65. For instance, food may contain substances such as the following:

  • Acrylamide
  • Inorganic Arsenic
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium

Collectively, the chemicals and substances listed above may cause cancer, reproductive harm, birth defects, brain development issues, and behavior problems.

Examples

Food and food products that may contain various chemicals and substances restricted by California Proposition 65 include items such as the following:

  • Rice
  • Herbal medicines
  • Edible seaweed
  • Leafy vegetables
  • Dietary supplements
  • Fish

Additional Resources

a. California Proposition 65 Guide for US Importers & Amazon Sellers

b. List of California Proposition 65 Product Testing Companies

c. California Proposition 65 Product Lab Testing: A Complete Guide

  • (USA & EU)

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    • Lab Testing

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    Disclaimer: The content on this website is provided for general information only. The content includes summaries written by our team members based on publicly available information about product safety standards, labeling, documentation, testing, processes, and other product compliance related topics. However, we don’t guarantee that we cover every single relevant regulation/standard/requirement, or that the information is free from errors, or covering every single scenario and exemption. We do make mistakes from time to time. We never provide legal advice of any sort.

    Changes/Updates: Product standards and substance restrictions are subject to frequent updates and changes. In addition, new regulations, standards, and/or requirements may also become effective at any time. We don’t update our articles whenever new standards/regulations/rules are added or changed. We recommend that you consult a lab testing company or other professional to get the latest information about mandatory standards/regulations in your market, country, or state. Lab testing companies generally stay up to date on new and updated standards and regulations.

    National/State-Level Standards/Regulations: Many articles don't cover all European national and US state standards, regulations, and requirements. We recommend that you consult a testing company or other professional to confirm all relevant (and current) national/state level standards and regulations.
  • 8 Responses to “List of Products Covered by California Proposition 65: An Overview

    1. To Wu at 9:28 pm

      The only way to avoid chems is to grow your own food and spin your own cloth from flax or cotton without dye. How did our parents and grand parents live so long

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:22 am

        Did they though? That said, I don’t disagree with the general idea that we are exposed to harmful chemicals in both food and consumer products.

    2. dawn at 6:15 am

      why is this warning not in CT. I just ordered furniture and read that my furniture is labeled with this on another site. Now I tried to cancel and getting stuck loosing 320 restocking fee. I am very nervous buying something being a twin bed with kids using this item.

    3. Emily C at 6:46 am

      Is there an easy way to find out, in a state other than California, now that companies are not required to list the warning as California does with prop 65 to determine if the product contains any of these dangerous toxins and chemicals?

      I have noticed many things in my state do still have the warning, however, others have taken the the warning away.

      I do not wish to buy anything with these chemicals in it, and I’m not sure of an effective and efficient way to determine what is contained in products without the warning in my state.

      I appreciate any help and advice!

      As posted before me, I echo- why are we really allowing this?! (Really, really- golly…) Seems like a no-brainer to me for the entire World’s health, longevity, sustainability…. Sure, I think we used to make buildings with asbestos cheaper previously, too… You know, until it started killing everyone! Bewildered I am, too, indeed.

    4. Jas at 8:04 pm

      I got a socket extender from amazon instead of going to the dollar store. Now I am so concerned with this warning, ima seriously considering returning the item. Why sell dangours item to begin with?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 1:19 pm

        I guess there are many reasons. Compliance comes at a cost – both in terms of the materials/hardware and the paperwork around that. Many consumers value low price over safety (including exposure to harmful chemicals).

    5. Linda McElroy at 6:53 am

      JUST ORDERED BEDSPREAD WITH PROP 65 HOW SERIOUS IS THIS AND WHY THE HELL DO THEY USE SOMETHING THAT CAN CAUSE CANCER I LIVE IN ARIZONA NEVER KNEW ABOUT THIS LAW

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:48 am

        Hi Linda,

        Yes, good question. That said, there are many substances that cause cancer. But the fact that it’s labeled doesn’t mean the material is necessarily more “dangerous” than a product without a label.

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