California's Prop 65 Warning
When browsing our website, you may come across a product page with a warning message like the one below. Starting on August 30th, 2018, we are required by law to show this message to all purchases of Proposition 65 labeled products whose final destination is in the state of California. Since we are unable to conclusively determine which orders will end up in California (even if initially shipped outside the state), we have elected to show this message to all users.
Additionally, since products can be added to your cart without viewing the product page warning, we are required by Section 25602(b) of Title 27 of California Code of Regulations Article 6, to display this warning before completing a purchase.
What is Proposition 65?
A ballot initiative that was passed in November of 1986 to help protect California's water sources from contamination. As part of the ballot language, the state of California is required to maintain and update a list of chemicals which are known carcinogens or cause reproductive harm. Businesses are required to label any products which contain chemicals/compounds from the state list. For further information, we recommend visiting the State of California's official Proposition 65 website at www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.
Theory vs. Reality
In theory, manufacturers would thoroughly test their products and only label products which posed a significant risk.
In reality, most manufacturers, especially in niche industries (pro entertainment), elect to add the warning label instead of performing product testing. There is no penalty for a warning label when it's not required, but penalties for failing to have a warning are steep. Even if a product is tested, it would need to be re-tested whenever the raw materials change, an expensive process. Add in the threat of costly private lawsuits that are "in the public interest", and you can likely see why most manufacturers of electronics are adding the warning. Additionally, for certain chemicals no minimum threshold is specified, leaving manufacturers the responsibility to prove the product is safe, or simply add a label.
What Does it Mean?
Most importantly, the Proposition 65 warning is a "right-to-know" law. This warning does not necessarily imply a given product is unsafe for use, just that exposure to it may cause adverse health effects. As stated above, most manufacturers will add this warning out of an abundance of caution, and not necessarily because the product in question showed actual harm in a lab test.
When specific chemicals are listed, we recommend going to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov to view the reasons why, and contacting the manufacturer for further details on the risk.
If no specific chemicals are listed, we recommend contacting the manufacturer for further details on the risk.