Does California Proposition 65 Apply to my Business?

Question

The State of California passed Proposition 65 in 1986 as a way to inform customers about hazardous chemicals in products they buy.  The law went into effect in 1988 and requires the State of California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

The law requires you (as a seller of the product) to list any hazardous chemicals in your product that are on that list.  Prop 65 was voted into law in California in 1986. Then it was known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.  The purpose of Prop 65 help Californians make informed purchases about exposure to toxic chemicals.

There are about 900 chemicals on the list and more are added each year.  Under the law, businesses with more than 10 employees are required to warn consumers about any hazardous chemicals in their products.

Now, you may be thinking I don’t have 10 employees so the law does not apply to me.  But, that is not the case.  If you sell a product made by a company with more than 10 employees, then you are affected.

I wanted to clarify this with Amazon, so I opened a support ticket.  Here is the answer I got back:

I understand that you are concerned regarding the Proposition 65 regulations.

I would like to inform you that regardless of having more or less than 10 employees in the company. If any hazardous chemical or material is been use, then the seller will be asked to provide the Prop 65 warning required for their product.

If you are not the manufacturer of the product you are listing, and selling their product, then you must provide with any Proposition 65 warning you have received from the manufacturer of the product and update the required details, since the company producing the product has more than 10 employees.

As you have mentioned, that you have less than 10 employees in your company, however if you wish to sell a product which is regulated as Hazardous chemical, then you shall receive an alert regarding Prop 65 Warning showing on the products. And, if your listings do not require a warning, no further action is required from you.

For further more queries, you may contact them, using the URL provided below:

https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/new-proposition-65-warnings

For more information about the California Proposition 65 (Prop 65), please visit the URL provided below: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/G202141960?referral=A3H0MJ2WNEP5IF_AQUGADIRXN89R

It appears that Amazon will warn you if you try to list an affected product, but I am not sure that works 100% of the time.   I know it’s a lot of work, but it may pay for you to check your products against the list yourself.

2 Comments

  1. According to Kalifornia everything is hazardous. I just ignore cr@p like that. I don’t live in Kalifornia, so I’ll let them spend the money to find me and deal with anything I’m selling that they don’t like. Civil disobedience.

    1. Author

      I hear what you say about California –it’s quite difficult to enforce in a different state.

      However, Amazon will enforce Prop 65 also. If they see you trying to sell an item containing a Prop 65 chemical the will force you to add that information before you can save the listing

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