California Prop 65

What Is Prop 65?

In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address their growing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative became the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known by its original name of Proposition 65 or the abbreviated name, Prop 65.

Proposition 65 requires the State of California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Since the list was first published by the State of California in 1987, it has grown to include approximately 800 chemicals. The Proposition 65 list enables Californians to make informed purchasing decisions and thus helps California citizens minimize their exposure to known carcinogenic chemicals if they so choose.

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) administers the Proposition 65 program. OEHHA, which is part of the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA), also evaluates all currently available scientific information on substances considered for placement on the Proposition 65 list.

The list contains a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. The chemicals include additives or ingredients contained in pesticides, common household products, food, pharmaceuticals, dyes, or solvents. Listed chemicals may be used in manufacturing and construction, or they may be byproducts of chemical processes, such as the exhaust resulting from operating a motor vehicle.

Prop 65 Warning For California Residents

WARNING: Drilling, sawing, sanding or machining wood products, such as firewood, can expose you to wood dust, a substance known to the State of California to cause cancer. 

CAUTION: Avoid inhaling wood dust or use a dust mask and other appropriate safeguards for your personal protection.  

WARNING: Burning wood in any wood-fueled heating appliance such as a pellet stove or wood burning stove can cause the formation of creosote, a substance known to the State of California to cause cancer. 

CAUTION: To minimize your exposure to potential smoke and creosote, operate only a wood heating appliance that has been EPA Certified and avoid inhaling smoke resulting from the operation of a wood heating appliance. As well, use adequate caution and appropriate protective equipment and clothing when removing ashes from your wood heating appliance and/or cleaning your chimney.

Where Can I Learn More?

For general information on the Proposition 65 list of chemicals, you may visit the Proposition 65 web page or telephone OEHHA’s Proposition 65 program located in Sacramento, California: 1-916-445-6900.