The state of California has taken consumer awareness to a new level with its Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, known as “Proposition 65.” This proposition, originally intended to protect sources of drinking water from chemical contamination, has grown to require warning labels on products which may contain any of approximately 1,000 chemicals or ingredients that the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) lists as a carcinogen or a reproductive toxicant.
Many of the materials included in Proposition 65 are commonly found in products such as coffee, jewelry, lamps, ceramic tableware, lead crystal glasses, electric cords, automobiles, beauty products and furniture. They include plastics, vinyls, heavy metals, and even Vitamin A at certain levels. Some listed chemicals, such as lead, are widely distributed through the environment in air, soil, water, and rocks. The Los Angeles Times wrote, Warnings (about Proposition 65) are everywhere: parking lots, hardware stores, schools, hospitals, theme parks, and just about any decent-sized business.
Because there is always a chance that wood dust or some other of the hundreds of ingredients listed in Proposition 65 could potentially be on/in our products or packing materials, we must include Proposition 65 warnings on our products or risk large fines under this law in California. In addition, we are required to use the exact wording for this warning specified by California: “ This product can expose you to chemicals including [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”
Please do not be alarmed! While there is research that supports health-related risks associated with these materials, the research also shows that the key factor in determining risk is the amount of exposure. A Prop 65 warning does not automatically mean that the product is unsafe.
Coleman Furniture, like most furniture companies, stocks large quantities of product which ships nationwide. Because we do not know where a product will ship at the time it is manufactured, we are placing these labels on all of our products, whether or not it ends up in California. It is also important for all retailers selling to consumers in the state of California to leave the labels on the product.
The safety of our customers and our employees is of highest priority for Coleman Furniture. We want to assure you of our commitment to offer the highest quality products in the industry.
If you would like to learn more about Proposition 65 you can view the following articles: