Inadequate Reforms

Despite the many flaws with Proposition 65, amending the law is purposefully very difficult. In order to change the law’s provisions, a two-thirds of lawmakers in both chambers of the legislature must pass a bill that “furthers the purpose of Proposition 65.” Any more substantial reforms would have to be approved by voters.

paper-stack-regulations

Flawed Attempt to Change Labels

warning-collection-verticalThe current system for warning consumers of the presence of Proposition 65-listed chemicals is clearly flawed.  But proposed changes to labels by the state won’t make things any clearer for consumers.

Proposed changes would require labels to contain a pictogram for toxic hazards on specific warnings. This might cause more visual attention to the warning label, but it still doesn’t explain to consumers the level of risk using the product or entering a facility poses. Without relevant and useful information, the labels still remain useless to consumers.

Another proposed change would require all non-food products to list the specific chemicals in the text of the warning and say that the product “will expose you” to the chemical rather than “contains” certain chemicals. But again, this doesn’t give consumers any real information about level of exposure and overall safety—it just makes the labels even longer, decreasing the likelihood that consumers will read them in their entirety. And in many cases, entering an area or using a particular product does not mean that you will be exposed to a particular chemical even though it may be present in the area or product.