Some of our products – as well as those from other appliance manufacturers – feature the following warning notice:
WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm.
This warning is the result of a law passed in California in 1986, referred to as the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, or more generally referred to as “Proposition 65.” The warning does not mean that our products will necessarily cause cancer or reproductive harm. Moreover, a Proposition 65 warning does not mean a product is in violation of any product-safety standards or requirements. The government has described Proposition 65 as a ‘right to know’ law.
While we believe that Forza products are not harmful when used as specified, we post this warning as a result of this California law.
WHAT IS PROPOSITION 65?
Proposition 65 is broad law that applies to any company operating in California, selling products in California, or manufacturing products that may be sold in or brought into California. It mandates that the State of California maintain and publish a list of chemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects and/or other reproductive harm. The list, which must be updated annually, includes a wide variety of chemicals that can be found in many everyday items, such as dyes, solvents, drugs, food-additives, by-products of certain processes, pesticides and tobacco products. The purpose of Proposition 65 is to ensure that people are informed about exposure to these chemicals.
Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide a warning before causing exposure to any of the 800-plus chemicals that the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) considers to be a carcinogen or reproductive toxicant. As noted above, many of the chemicals listed under Proposition 65 have been routinely used in everyday consumer items for years without documented harm.
A warning must be given if the listed chemical is merely present in a product unless a business demonstrates that the exposure exceeds a safe harbor level. With respect to carcinogens, the safe harbor level is defined as the “no significant risk level,” and calculated as the level that would not result in more than one excess case of cancer in 100,000 individuals exposed over a 70-year lifetime. In other words, if you are exposed to the chemical in question at this level every day for 70 years, theoretically, it will increase your chances of getting cancer by no more than 1 case in 100,000 individuals so exposed.
With respect to reproductive toxicants, the safe harbor level is defined as the “maximum allowable dose level,” calculated as the maximum level of exposure at which a chemical has “no observable reproductive effect,” multiplied by 1,000.
A Proposition 65 warning generally means one of two things: (1) the business has evaluated the exposure and has concluded that it exceeds the safe harbor level; or (2) the business has chosen to provide a warning based on the potential presence and exposure to a listed chemical without attempting to evaluate the actual exposure. Forza has chosen to provide a warning based on its knowledge about the presence of one or more listed chemicals without attempting to evaluate the level of exposure, as not all of the listed chemicals have established safe harbor levels or other exposure limits. With Forza’s products, the exposure may be negligible or well within the safe harbor level range. However, out of an abundance of caution, Forza has elected to provide the Proposition 65 warnings.
WHY DOES FORZA INCLUDE THIS WARNING?
The penalties for not complying with Proposition 65 are high. As a result of the potential penalties and because there is no penalty for providing an unnecessary warning, Forza, as well as many other manufacturers, have elected to provide the Proposition 65 notice out of an abundance of caution in order to avoid the potential for liability.
I PURCHASED OUTSIDE OF CALIFORNIA; WHY IS PROPOSITION 65 INCLUDED?
Our products are sold nationwide. It is virtually impossible to monitor and track which products are sold or transported into California. Therefore, to ensure compliance with Proposition 65 requirements, we have decided to include these warnings on all of our products, regardless of origin.
For more information about Proposition 65 visit: www.P65Warnings.ca.gov