Proposition 65

6039225908_e2635f3183Proposition 65 (the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, or “Prop 65″) was passed by referendum and 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.

Prop 65 requires manufacturers, retailers, restaurants and serving facilities, property owners and employers to provide warnings to consumers, employees and invitees if their products, processes or facilities expose individuals to certain levels of chemicals that are “known to the state of California” to cause cancer or reproductive issues.

The presence of a sufficient amount of a listed substance may trigger the duty under Prop 65 to provide adequate warnings, with failures to warn subject to fines of up to $2,500 per day, per violation. Currently, there are over 800 chemicals on the list with more to come. The required warnings may involve exposures to products or environmental or occupational California’s exposures such as the exposure in restaurants to alcohols or certain chemicals generated by cooking, including certain meat, potatoes, and even coffee products.

Proposition 65 contains a “bounty hunter” provision that makes it an attractive source of income for a number of Plaintiff’s attorneys, and makes manufacturers, retailers and business operators targets for sixty-day notices, the required precursor to a lawsuit.

PME LAW attorneys have assisted clients on both the compliance side and in litigation related to Prop 65.

PME LAW lawyers have defended manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and retailers in Prop 65 actions involving a wide spectrum of products, as well as environmental exposures. We have experience many of the more prevalent listed Prop 65 chemicals, including lead, phthalates (DBP, DEHP, BBP), cadmium, arsenic, 1,4 dioxane, formaldehyde, ethyl benzene, toluene and others, MEI and tris.

Representative Matters:

Shoe Manufacturer – We assisted client in determining the best way to provide a warning to their customers.

Retail Hardware – Handled numerous cases for several large Hardware Retailers on products ranging from plumbing to traditional hardware to propane torches and combination locks.

Food Manufacturer – Represented a company with respect to MEI in flavorings, alleged lead content in sports drinks and juices.
Furniture Manufacturer with respect to fire retardant chemicals in their foam padding.

Food Facilities – Represented several facilities with respect to environmental exposures.

Tool Manufacturer – Assisted large tool manufacturer in cataloging and indemnifying potential Prop 65 levels.

Sports Equipment – Assisted Sports Equipment Manufacture with respect to location and content of warning.

PME LAW can assist your company with Prop 65 issues, contact us at or 559-447-5700.