California Proposition 65 requires all businesses with more than ten employees to warn consumers if their products contain threshold amounts of chemicals causing cancer or reproductive harm. The warning requirement applies to any business in the distribution chain, including manufacturers, distributors and retailers, including out-of-state companies selling products in California.
While the California Attorney General or a district attorney can pursue enforcement, most suits are brought by private parties claiming to be "acting in the public interest," who will receive a portion of the fine or settlement ultimately assessed on the alleged violation. Too often, these suits feel like a shakedown as they are expensive to fight, and defendants are forced to settle.
SEMA can assist members in finding laboratories that can test their products for listed chemicals. Laboratory testing is relatively inexpensive and determines if your product contains a listed chemical and how much.
SEMA is actively promoting legislation and regulations to decrease the cost of Proposition 65 compliance and is working with the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to push for less onerous labeling requirements. SEMA is also active in the Proposition 65 Coalition of the California Chamber of Commerce and is looking for any opportunity to create a friendlier regulatory environment in California.