California New Prop 65 Warning Labels

California’s Prop. 65 prohibits businesses from knowingly exposing California consumers to a chemical known to cause cancer or reproductive harm without first providing a notice of the danger.  California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has issued new regulations on what warnings must be made and by whom.  The new regulations will take effect on August 30, 2018.  In the interim, businesses may choose to comply with either the current or new regulations.

The new regulation puts the primary responsibility for providing warnings on product manufacturers or suppliers.  They must either label their products with the required warnings or provide notice and warning materials to retailers to provide to the consumer.  A retailer can still be held responsible for failure to provide a required warning for their private label products or if the retailer knows of a potential danger or covers, obscures or alters a product’s warning label.  The new regulations also allow the retailer to contract with the manufacturer or supplier of a product and specifically allocate the legal responsibility for providing the warnings. Retailers should check their contracts to see who is responsible for the warning labels.