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Label Management
May 27, 2024
June 3, 2024

How to Comply With Prop 65 Regulations

Shirly Christy

How to Comply With Prop 65 Regulations

May 17, 2024
June 3, 2024
Shirly Christy


Selling your products in California? You might now need an extra warning label on your product. 

Wonder what it is? Let me tell you. 

In this blog post, we’re going to dive deep into everything you need to know about Proposition 65 and how products sold in California need to comply with Prop 65. 

So, what is Proposition 65?

I wanted to see what the good old Reddit had to say about Proposition 65 and I went through all the possible conversations and here are some of my favorite comments, straight from Californians. 

“It’s a California thing. Pretty much on most things you buy. I think the law is extremely broad to the point that no one really pays attention to the label.”

“Legally anything that contains a cancer causing chemical and is sold in California must have that warning.” 

I know, these comments left me feeling confused as well. 

But really, what is Proposition 65? 

Proposition 65, also known as Prop 65, is a law passed by the California State Legislature that aims to safeguard public health from potentially harmful chemicals. Established in 1986, the law mandates businesses to include warning statements on their product labels to inform consumers about the existence of any potentially harmful chemicals in the product. The law is to bring about transparency and accountability in the marketplace. 

In simple words, for business owners – Prop 65 involves mentioning a warning statement on your product. For consumers, it is a cautionary statement alerting them to any kind of potential risks found in everyday items. These mandated Prop 65 product warnings empower consumers to make informed choices about their purchases and usage. It is a law that helps safeguard Californians in their daily lives. 

Well, who does Prop 65 apply to? 

Prop 65 isn’t for a specific niche – it applies to everything who sells products to consumers. That means businesses, manufacturers, distributors, and even online sellers have to comply with Prop 65. 

But how does it apply to all businesses you ask? Let me give you a quick background into how Prop 65 became a law that eventually became something that all businesses need to follow. 

Prop 65 was not a law that was created by legislators of the Californian State. Initially it was written by a few community activists and then accepted by the California Legislature by a statewide ballot. While some Redditors and Californians have been vocal about their displeasure with Prop 65, it is in fact a helpful regulation that requires products to carry a warning label even if they have the slightest possibility of causing cancer. 

But what is the reason behind this displeasure with the law? All of Prop 65 regulations don't really have a threshold for the chemicals in the product that can cause cancer. In simple words, it doesn’t show the level of the 900 odd chemicals  and specific percentages accurately that can affect consumption. The second problem with the law is that it is broad and applies to everything from plastics, to water bottlers, and even your local Starbucks. (Yeah, this is real. Here’s proof) 

The State of California has officially applied Prop 65 regulations to the following places and products. 

The only exception to the regulations are food and drugs that are regulated by the FDA. There are several food and drug products that are regulated by the Federal Law which is the FDA which supersedes the state law.  

It is also important to note that the law requires warnings for even very low levels of exposure of hazardous chemicals.  To know more visit the OEHHA website

What does a Prop 65 label look like? 

Let’s take a look at what a Prop 65 label actually looks like. 

Warning statement on products

Warning statements in places

Wording requirements for Prop 65 labels

Simple and direct language is key when it comes to Prop 65 labels. The wording should clearly state that the product contains chemicals known to cause harm. 

Symbol requirements for Prop 65 labels

In addition to words, Prop 65 labels must also include a symbol—a yellow triangle with an exclamation point inside. This symbol serves as a visual cue, further emphasizing the importance of the warning.

Placement guidelines for Prop 65 labels

Prop 65 labels should be put up in a prominent place on the product, to ensure that they are easily visible to consumers. The label should be placed on the packaging appropriately. 

What are the risks of non-compliance to the Prop 65 regulations? 

Prop 65 regulations are essential for all products sold in California. If your product doesn’t have the Prop 65 warning label as mandated, it will be considered a violation. Each violation can lead to civil penalties for up to $ 2,500 per day. In addition to that it can also cause negative reputation to the brand. 

How can ComplyAI by Artwork Flow help you comply with Prop 65 regulations? 

We created ComplyAI with an intent to remove the risk of manual reviews. ComplyAI is an AI-native label compliance tool that helps regulatory affairs, design, packaging, and marketing teams to create labels that comply with industry regulations. 

With ComplyAI, you can: 

  1. Create customized rulebooks based on your requirements 
  2. Create conditional rules and group your rulebooks and run label reviews flexibly. 
  3. Review your labels on 10+ parameters and ensure they comply with the regulatory standards you follow. 
  4. Scan and verify all your product barcodes seamlessly. 
  5. Run multiple checks of all of your packaging files and hit the shelves much faster. 

So why wait? See how ComplyAI can help you comply with Prop 65 regulations. Selling in California doesn’t have to be stressful — let ComplyAI take the pain out for you. Book a demo today and see the difference.

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