The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) of the California Environmental Protection Agency is adding “areca nut” and “betel quid without tobacco” to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer for purposes of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Health and Safety Code section 25249.5, Proposition 65). A betel quid (synonymous with ‘pan’ or ‘paan’) generally contains betel leaf, areca nut and slaked lime, and may contain tobacco. Areca nut is the seed of the fruit of the oriental palm Areca catechu. It should be noted that it is the nut and not other elements of the areca nut plant (such as the husk) that is being listed under Proposition 65. The listing of “areca nut” and “betel quid without tobacco” is effective February 3, 2006.
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