By Sara Egros
On June 17, 2013, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) held a public pre-regulatory workshop to gather input from interested parties on regulatory content addressing Proposition 65 warnings. If the changes to the regulations are formally proposed or adopted, they would either supplement or replace the existing OEHHA regulations which govern Proposition 65 warnings and must conform to any changes. Because this is a pre-regulatory workshop, if OEHHA does decided to update or adopt a new version of the Proposition 65 regulation, there will be additional opportunities for public comment.
Proposition 65 (formerly referred to as “The State Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986”) is a law which was established to promote clean drinking water and keep toxic substitutes that can cause cancer and birth defects out of consumer products. The regulations can be found in Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 25000 through 27000: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/law/index.html
OEHHA is proposing a change to the existing Proposition 65 regulations, to be able to provide more informative warnings to individuals concerning exposures to carcinogens and reproductive toxins. OEHHA was looking for comments and feedback on what the public considered to be informative and meaningful warnings.
The group then evaluated warning methods dealing with consumer products, food products, common environmental scenarios and how new technologies could be used.
They also asked for comments looking at warning content on the following:
- Minimum information that must be included;
- Information on products sold in stores or via the internet, or physical structures;
- Providing information off-product or off-site;
- Contextual information to revise consumer exposure to listed chemicals
A link to examples of Proposition 65 warnings for comments was also provided on the OEHHA website: http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/pdf/BasicWarning070913.pdf
All comments, questions and concerns made by the attendees will be taken into consideration. OEHHA has also published a link with suggested labels and content for review. OEHHA closed the comment period Wednesday, July 31, 2013 and published the comments received on their website: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/law/061813extend.html
Additionally, OEHHA evaluated a possible transition period for businesses to implement new/proposed changes. Attendees suggested a tiered structure similar to the one that OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) implemented for the revised hazard communication standard. Again, this information was just a suggestion and will be evaluated along with all other comments received.
The comment period ended August 30, 2013. Numerous companies and organizations provided their comments and concerns in regards to information provided at the pre-regulatory workshop. OEHHA has not published any updates in regards to future workshops at this time.
For more information and future updates, please see the OEHHA Proposition 65 workshop website: http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/public_meetings/index2.html .