The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act
November 18, 2014
Originally, this proposition was intended to protect drinking water sources from chemical contamination. Over the years, however, the scope of the law has exploded. As the Los Angeles Times wrote recently, "Warnings (about Proposition 65) are everywhere: parking lots, hardware stores, hospitals and just about any decent-sized business."
Proposition 65 requires warning labels on products that may contain any of 800-plus chemicals or ingredients that the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) lists as a carcinogen or a reproductive toxicant. Many of the elements listed under Proposition 65 are common everyday additives found in products such as jewelry, lamps, ceramic tableware, crystal glasses, electric cords, automobiles, beauty products and furniture.
A flame retardant upholstery chemical currently required by the state of California to be added to upholstered furniture foams is now included among chemicals that require a warning under Proposition 65.
Because there is always a chance that some of the hundreds of ingredients listed in Proposition 65 could potentially be on our furniture or packing materials, we must include Proposition 65 warnings on our products or risk large fines under this law in California. In addition, we are required to use the exact wording for this warning specified by California: "This product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm."
We have received recognition and awards for sustainability initiatives and our compliance with environmental and safety regulations and have always abided by state and federal regulations. While there may be different opinions about California label requirements with this California law, we must honor these compliance regulations.