proposition 65

About Prop 65 for CA consumers

Proposition 65, officially known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was enacted as a ballot initiative in November 1986. The proposition protects the state’s drinking water sources from being contaminated with chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and requires businesses to inform Californians about exposures to such chemicals.

Proposition 65 requires the state to maintain and update a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

The list contains a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that are known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. These chemicals include additives or ingredients in pesticides, common household products, food, drugs, dyes, or solvents. Listed chemicals may also be used in manufacturing and construction, or they may be byproducts of chemical processes, such as motor vehicle exhaust.

Want to check out the chemicals that are listed? Check them out here

In the absence of federal law, Clean Label Project regularly relies on California Prop 65 for inspiration on maximum tolerances for contaminants with known links to cancer and reproductive harm. Over the past several years, Clean Label Project has investigated several categories of foods and consumer products including Acrylamide in Nut Butter, heavy metals in Collagen, and heavy metals in Sunscreen.

Learn more about our findings


California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment: