California is unique in that its residents have been protected against cancer-causing chemicals in many household products since1986 by Proposition 65, also called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. Under this law, manufacturers must label any of their products with a warning if that product contains chemicals that may cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm.
Where can you find these warning labels? You can find these labels or signs just about everywhere food or alcohol is served and on many items that you use in your home every day. Have you ever noticed the label on electrical wires or the warning sign when you go to your favorite restaurant?
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) provides a list, which it updates annually, of known chemicals that can be hazardous to your health. Manufacturers or businesses who don’t comply with Proposition 65 can face stiff penalties under the law.
Though you may think the law provides comprehensive consumer protection, personal injury from cancer-causing compounds still occurs. The Prop 65 labels:
- Inform you only that a product contains something that might cause cancer or affect reproduction
- Do not identify the harmful substance specifically or where it is in the product
- Do not provide information on how you might be exposed to it, the level of risk or the steps you can take to reduce your exposure
If you’ve sustained injury or illness from harmful products, contact a California products liability attorney to find out your rights under the law. It can be intimidating trying to understand the intricacies of Proposition 65. Don’t be overwhelmed by the legalese. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can give you the assistance you need today.