Proposition 65, or the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, is designed to protect the state’s drinking water from contamination from chemicals that are known to lead to birth defects, cancer or other kinds of reproductive harm. Businesses are required to let Californians know if they have been exposed to those chemicals.
Proposition 65 does have a list of chemicals that are known to lead to harm to people. Some common chemicals that are found on this list include:
- Alprazolam, which can lead to developmental toxicity
- Benzyl violet 4B, which can lead to cancer
- Cadmium, which can lead to male reproductive toxicity, developmental toxicity and cancer
Of course, the list is much more extensive. All of these chemicals should be kept out of the water supply. Should they be introduced accidentally, then a company needs to inform consumers immediately.
As a business owner, you should know that violating Proposition 65 is a serious concern. If you violate it, you could face fines as high as $2,500 per day for each day that you don’t provide notices to the public about their exposure to harmful chemicals.
The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is the administration that monitors the program. OEHHA determines if there is evidence to place new chemicals on the Proposition 65 list and also administers regulations and warnings. On the other end, California’s Attorney General’s Office enforces Proposition 65, so if a business is believed to have violated it, the district or city attorney will take steps to enforce it. They, as well as individuals, can pursue a lawsuit against businesses that are alleged to have violated the proposition.