Law & Order

Chemical Used in Antifreeze Listed Under Prop. 65; Automotive Cleaning Product Chemical Proposed for Listing

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

Effective June 19, 2015, ethylene glycol is now listed as a regulated chemical under Proposition 65 (Prop. 65) by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). The listing specifies that ethylene glycol may cause reproductive toxicity if ingested. OEHHA also recently issued a notice of intent to list 1-bromopropane, a solvent used for cleaning metals, plastics and electronic components, as a chemical known to cause cancer. Both ethylene glycol and 1-bromopropane have automotive-related applications—ethylene glycol in antifreeze and other cooling applications and 1-bromopropane in automotive cleaning products.  

Prop. 65 requires warnings on products containing more than trace amounts of certain chemicals in consumer products. Under Prop. 65, a manufacturer, producer, packager, importer or distributor of a product that causes consumers to be exposed to a listed chemical is required to provide a warning to consumers. Currently, that warning must be given prior to the time of anticipated exposure, but under a new rule currently being considered by OEHHA, the warning would have to be given prior to sale, such as on packaging, websites and catalogs. Current safe-harbor provisions will remain in effect, but the burden is on the manufacturer to show that use of a specific product does not expose users to a particular chemical in greater amounts than permitted under the safe-harbor levels, which are expressed in micrograms per day.  

Businesses and individuals have until August 10, 2015, to submit comments to OEHHA regarding the listing of 1-bromopropane. For additional information, contact Ashley Ailsworth at