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Prop 65 - A (former) litigation attorney's (now in-house counsel at a MD manufacturer) perspective.


Looking for Reality
Forgive me, but I can't tell if you're being serious, or just cynical/sarcastic (I presume the latter?).
Nope...serious. Sorry that I am, actually....and I appreciate you checking.

I have a number of clients in CA...every one of them has a warning posted in the front window and on every entrance door.
I asked two of them "Why? I know what you make here."
The answer was pretty much what I wrote...they didn't make the sheetrock in the walls, or the paint, or the carpet...and surely there's something in there made in China under questionable controls...and the warning signs only cost ~$50USD to cover everything.
One of them outsources janitorial, and it would cost more than $50 to check their chemicals every time they come in to clean...

It is a very easy cost/benefit equation which makes Prop65 essentially useless in a litigious society. Especially given supadrai's description of (my paraphrase) "guilty until proven innocent".

Warning labels cost 1.6 cents at Uline...with the marketing "Apply to items that may contain Prop 65 chemicals "...note the "may".
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Looking for Reality
China isn't the only source of materials made under questionable controls...
Too true, and I apologize if this is found offensive to anyone...
That's just what my customer said...
I don't even have to leave my town to find questionable controls...
Interesting decision, given the convincing case you make otherwise.
For us, our products are very cost competitive and one customer will use several contract manufacturers for products the consumer will view as identical, so if we put a warning on their packaging that other contract manufacturers don't, we would almost assuredly lose the business.

Additionally, the tests all came back really good. Almost everything was below detection limits and the one or two that weren't were well below the exposure limit. I can't remember the exact calculation, methodology or name of the test - but there were no significant concerns.

From legal and regulatory the testing drove the decision, from the business - the don't do what others aren't doing drove the decision. Rare and fortunate alignment.

Unrelated: putting your lawyer hat on, as far as law documents go, do you find the California regulations particularly byzantine? Like, it seems, that nearly every clause references some other section - some reference 3 or 4 separate sections! Maybe it's just my limited exposure to these types of regulations, but in anycase I certainly don't envy the lawyers that have to navigate these documents! :frust:
It's annoying but a fact of life we're used to. What often helps is to begin with an article by a reputable law firm or law journal that does the untangling for you. We can't fully rely on it but it puts the puzzle pieces together in a coherent picture - which is really difficult to do on a read through. But the IRS, EPA and some other federal regs take it to another level.

What upsets me is when I get contracts from another lawyer that contain an unnecessary amount of cross-references. To muck up something over which we have control is inexcusable.

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Starting to get Involved

Can someone tell what level of notification should a company make to its product/labeling to address the presence of this amount DEHP to be compliant with prop 65. Please advise! Thanks.

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