As a welding service provider, you should understand California’s Proposition 65 and how it might affect your business. This regulation requires manufacturers to include health and safety warnings on materials that will be sold in the State of California. The cost of ignoring this regulation could be huge. Avoid hefty fines by staying informed about the latest regulatory changes affecting welding service providers.
What is Proposition 65?
Proposition 65 is a consumer disclosure law. It requires manufacturers and vendors to tell consumers if materials in their products are on the list of materials linked to cancer or reproductive health hazards. Any products sold in the State of California must include a disclosure that meets the regulatory guidelines. If your business fails to follow Proposition 65 you could be fined as much as $2,500 per day per violation.
Prop 65 lists roughly 900 chemicals tied to an increased risk of cancer or potential birth defects. The State of California regularly updates this list to reflect the latest research.
Examples of welding-related chemicals listed under Proposition 65:
|PET and PETG||Ethylene glycol, Acetaldehyde||Listed|
|PVC|| Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
(DEHP), Lead, Cadmium
|Open Celled Polyurethanes||Urethane (Ethyl Carbamate)||Listed|
|Ethylene-vinyl acetate||Considered but not listed|
These are just a few of the welding-related materials on the Proposition 65 list of chemicals. The best way to know if your products contain listed chemicals is to have them analyzed by a toxicologist.
Proposition 65 and its list of materials have been updated continuously since its first approval in 1986. The most recent changes allow manufacturers to satisfy the disclosure requirement by providing written notice “to the authorized agent for the business to which they are selling or transferring the product.”
That means you may not need to post a warning on the product itself if you provide written notice to the seller or vendor. In this case, the seller must confirm that they received the notice and will use the appropriate warnings. Agreements between manufacturers and sellers must be renewed yearly.
What do compliant warning labels look like?
To meet the latest Prop 65 standards, warning labels must include the following:
- Warning symbol: exclamation point in a yellow triangle with a black border
- At least one named chemical
- A named health risk
- Link to P65Warnings.ca.gov, California’s official Prop 65 website.
Ex: WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including Ethylene glycol known to the State of California to cause reproductive harm.”
In the past, warning labels included less specific language. While the old style can still be used, it may not fully protect your business from litigation.
If you’re selling the product directly to consumers, you must post warnings on the product or packaging materials. For products sold online, warnings should appear on the website. If your business generally provides consumer information in a language other than English, the warning must also appear in that language.
How to protect your welding business
Avoid fines and litigation by following all proposition 65 regulations. If you’re not sure whether a product needs a warning label use the searchable database on the Prop 65 website. You can also reach out to a toxicologist or seek legal counsel. When in doubt, it’s better to include a warning than to face penalties. Stay up to date on the latest changes and adjust your processes accordingly.
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