Here’s everything you need to know about California Proposition 65 and how we could help you comply

In the last month, many social media channels saw consumers in the UK react to news that PrettyLittleThing, a UK-based fashion retailer with an international presence, updated their website’s terms and conditions to include a warning about chemicals used in their products. These have been identified by the US State of California to potentially cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm as reported through Proposition 65. In today’s world, where news spreads fast, many started asking, what exactly is Proposition 65?

What is Proposition 65?

It’s an initiative that started in 1986 in California, which began as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act aimed at addressing the growing concern about exposure to toxic chemicals and compounds in the environment such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury, to name a few. It later became known as Proposition 65 or simply Prop 65; the ‘right to know law’.

Prop 65 requires all corporations doing business in California provide a warning when knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical through labels on their products and listings on their websites. It’s all about helping consumers make decisions about protecting themselves from harmful substances.  

With almost 950 chemicals on the list, both naturally occurring and synthetic, the toxic elements in these chemicals are known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. These hazardous substances are found in several common compounds including:

  • Additives or ingredients in pesticides
  • Household products
  • Drugs, food, or dyes
  • Solvents
  • Chemicals used in manufacturing or construction
  • By products of chemical processes

Today, the list of hazardous chemicals included in Prop 65 is updated yearly by the California Environmental Protection Agency but is a collaboration of several agencies working together such as Office of Environmental Health and Hazardous Assessment (OEHHA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and World Health Organization (WHO) along with a list of other agencies. Within the US any district or city attorneys, for districts whose population exceeds 750,000, are encouraged to enforce Prop 65. Prop 65 may have started in California however, many states have willingly adopted it and it’s without a doubt a global issue.

In the world of global commodities, where shipping goods to anywhere in the world is as easy as clicking a button, many businesses have had to change how they produce their products to remove harmful chemicals in order to comply. Many are also taking additional steps to ensure compliance, as non-compliance can result in penalties as high as $2,500 per day.

How we can help you comply

To comply with the legislation, many companies are testing products – either using a third-party laboratory or doing it in-house. In-house testing doesn’t have to be costly though, which many don’t realise.

By using the handheld XRF analyzer X-MET8000 from Hitachi High-Tech for elemental analysis, you can create an affordable in-house quality assurance programme rather than having to rely on third-party laboratories. So, you can have your results in seconds rather than having to wait two to six weeks for them.

The easy to use X-MET is non-destructive. Point the nose of the analyser on the item you want to analyze, pull the trigger andi n seconds the results appear on a screen that’s as easy to use as your mobile phone. And then you’re ready to move to the next item.

Watch our 60-second demo of physics graduate and comedienne Helen Arney demonstrate just how easy it’s to take a measurement with the X-MET8000:

Using the X-MET8000 not only provides extra reassurance that what has been received is compliant, whether it’s materials or packaging, but also allows you to fix problems quicker. And because the testing is fast, you can do testing on all products you receive.

It’s all about ensuring there’s minimal chance of missing an element, which is considered toxic, to help you comply with Prop 65 and reassure the customers. And with real-time reporting, you’ll have an audit trail of all the analysis that’s taken place.

So, here’s what you’ll get if you invest in an X-MET8000:

  • Affordability – low cost of ownership
  • Timeliness – less than 60 second measurement time
  • Reliability – results you can trust
  • Real-time reporting – technical reports and validated results easily available
  • Stand out from the competition

Don’t just take our word for it

We’ve been around for 45 years, working in close collaboration with our customers to develop customised testing methodologies for hundreds of applications.

Don’t just take our word for it though, watch AVID Technologies talk about why they invested in an X-MET8000 and how it helps them to comply with California Proposition 65

So where do you start? Contact our experts today to get a quote.




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Date: 24 October 2019

Author: Marianne Walters, Americas Applications Lead

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