This news update on California Proposition 65 is brought to you by Environmental Leader.
California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) is one of the most stringent state environmental laws for the chemical industry even though there is much confusion amongst Californians, whom the law was designed to protect, as to its exact scope and potential impact.
The main purpose of Prop 65 is to inform consumers about carcinogenic or reproductive risks of chemical exposure through a warning in sign or label. Prop 65’s biggest concern for the industry is that it can be enforced by private citizens – including those with less than noble motives. In fact, citizen enforcers file hundreds of Prop 65 cases every year in California, and it is estimated that they have collected more than $150 million in damages from businesses around the country since the inception of Prop 65 in 1986, with the majority of money going to attorney’s fees.
In recent years, several notable enforcement trends have emerged. First, as a reaction to the increase in citizen lawsuits, industry started to pressure the state legislators for reform to alleviate the imbalances in Prop 65 actions. Another hope for legislative reform was the federal preemption through the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Second, industry-wide self enforcement began often in the form of cooperation through trade associations. Such concerted effort established harmonized solutions for a level playing field and funds for the scientific defenses that can be too burdensome for a small/medium sized company. Lastly, defendants haveincreasingly fought back in court and prevailed.
For more information on California Proposition 65 please visit the Environmental Leader link above. Please contact Nexreg regarding Prop 65 Compliance.