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News @en


Oct 2011

Globally environmental legislation: California Proposition 65

On 27, Oct 2011 | In News @en | By KuL-Blog

Presenting K&L’s Legal Monitoring services, an overview of the Californian legislation was explained at a workshop at the Fraunhofer IPA in Stuttgart.

In 1986, the “Safe drinking water and Toxic Enforcement Act”, better known as California proposition 65 went into force. The aim of this act is, to protect Californians from the hazardous impacts of carcinogenic or repro-toxical substances.

Therefore, a list of substances, first published in 1987, was setup. Steadily, more and more substances are added (and in few cases taken off) the list. Currently, the list contains around 850 substances.

A warning must be provided when any person is exposed intended or knowingly to a listed substance when using a product, being in a certain place etc. Consumers may face those warning signs everywhere in the daily life: On products in supermarkets, in underground parking areas, on sports and leisure equipment… just everywhere.

But what do the “people doing business” in California have to do in order to comply with this regulation? They need to know about substances in their articles that people are exposed to, about their concentrations and intended releases. But many additional questions arise:

• How to get all this information?
• Should I do testing on any product?
• What’s about information for imported articles or parts of articles?
• Can I trust the information provided by suppliers?
• Does knowingly means only exposure I REALLY KNOW about OR that
   I SHOULD KNOW about?

After a new substance has been added to the list, a company has a 12 months period in order to comply with the warning requirements.

As the State of California also allows private person to enforce violation of the proposition 65, Non-Governmental-organizations (NGOs) and consumer protection association are surveilling the market and inform the responsible attorneys. Civil Lawsuits are held every year and tens of million Dollars of penalties have to be paid. Additional penalties for violation of Proposition 65 are withdrawal, ban of sales and, non-official penalties like the damage to one’s image…

Interested in additional information about this act and how to comply with it? Interested in environmental legislation in other countries in the world? Our research team is ready to answer your questions!