Two new California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) agreements have been reached concerning the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in thermal paper and cell phone cases.
The settlement involving thermal paper has resulted in an agreed reformulation of less than 10 ppm BPA – a concentration value twice as strict as that previously reported in Safeguard 190/17. This is also the first time a reformulation agreement has been reached on BPA in cell phone cases – to less than or equal to 3.0 ppm or a Prop 65 Warning.
BPA was first included on the Prop 65 list, as a chemical known to cause female reproductive toxicity, in May 2015. Several enforcement actions have been instigated since May 2016, resulting in settlements for thermal paper and food contact products, for example polycarbonate dishware. The latter has now been amended from ‘no more than 1000 ppm’, to ‘BPA-free’ or a Prop 65 Warning.
California Proposition 65 is the “Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986’, a unique consumer ‘right-to-know’ law which was passed by Californian residents in November 1986. The law requires the state of California to maintain a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm. Currently, the list contains around 860 substances and has consistently targeted consumer products containing flame retardants, lead and phthalates.
Prop 65 has led to numerous lawsuits, resulting in a reduction in exposure to toxic chemicals, by requiring reformulation and/or labeling. The law states that, unless exempted, a business must not expose individuals to the chemicals on the list without giving a Prop 65 warning, the language for which will change on August 30, 2018. In addition, companies must also cease discharging listed chemicals into sources of drinking water.
Businesses with less than 10 employees and government agencies are exempt from these two provisions, as are businesses where exposure creates no significant risk of cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Stakeholders should be aware Prop 65 settlement agreements are legal binding only between the parties named in the settlement. Parties that are not named in a settlement are not bound by the terms in that settlement.
SGS Prop 65 Services
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