Prop 65 Expansion

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Sept. 17, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

In recent years, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has been inappropriately using the Labor Code mechanism as an on-going listing process in spite of the fact that it was intended only to be used to help establish the "initial" Prop 65 list in 1987.  This mechanism does not put chemicals through the same rigorous scrutinization and scientific review that would occur if OEHHA relied upon the "State’s Experts" or an "Authoritative Body" listing mechanisms.

The Labor Code mechanism under the Health and Safety Code section 25249.8 states that any chemicals or substances identified by reference to Labor Code sections 6382 (b)(1) or 6382(d) as known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity must be included on the Prop 65 list, but as mentioned previously, this was only to establish the original list.

Now that their latest actions have been questioned, OEHHA is proposing regulations that will formalize and clarify this disputed listing mechanism.  If OEHHA is allowed to inappropriately use the Labor Code listing without challenge, hundreds of substances could be added to the Prop 65 list that are used in everyday applications, are beneficial to consumers and pose no risk to humans, such as mineral oils, alcoholic beverages, artificial sweeteners, health supplements, coffee, wood dust, talcum powder, pickled vegetables, etc.  Many such "chemicals" have been previously reviewed by OEHHA and were considered to have insufficient proof to be included under Prop 65.  

Such a far reaching change in the original intent and implementation of Prop 65 creates enormous uncertainty for California businesses that have difficulty competing in this environment.  

Companies are banding together to consider a legal challenge to this overt action by OEHHA.  Here is a link to the chemicals which would automatically fall under Prop 65 should OEHHA’s proposed regulation go into effect: http://www.cmta.net/pdfs/Chemicals_Prop_65.pdf

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