Chemicals are a concern in every part of human life. Exposure to some can cause significant damage to the body or the genome. Because of this growing concern, California took initiative in 1986 called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, otherwise known as Proposition 65. Curious about exactly what Proposition 65 includes? Let’s take a look.
Proposition 65 addresses fears about human contact with harmful and dangerous chemicals. This act makes it necessary for the state of California to print and consistently update a list of chemicals that are potentially cancerous or those that can cause birth defects and various other reproductive issues. This list must be revised at least once per year if not more often. Since the proposition’s first publication in 1987, over 800 chemicals have been added to the list.
Proposition 65 also states that all businesses in California must provide and publish information about the chemicals they use in their products or release into the environment. This is implemented as a rule, so all residents and consumers are aware of what chemicals they are surrounded by and make educated decisions about their purchases. There could be serious consequences if they disagree or do not abide by the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.
Because this act affects drinking water, too, it is illegal for businesses to dump any of the listed chemicals into a source of drinking water knowingly. Doing so can cause a widespread outbreak of a disease which can be difficult to eradicate.
The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, or OEHHA, administers the program for Proposition 65.
Here at Bulk Nitrile Gloves, we are devoted to follow the protocol of Proposition 65 even though it only legally applies to California.
All chemicals that have the possibility of causing birth defects or leading to cancer must be included on the list. These can be either naturally occurring chemicals like carbon monoxide or man-made and synthesized ones. All of the listed substances can be used to create goods or be an outcome of the production of it. Ways you can encounter these are through car or vehicle exhaust, color dyes, drugs, and foods.
For a cumulative list of potentially harmful chemicals and details of each, you can visit https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/chemicals. /p>
There are a total of four ways that substances can be added to the list of potentially deadly or costly chemicals.
First, if both scientists and health professionals independently recognize a chemical that can cause harm, they can come together and bring awareness to one of the two committees that manage this chemical list. One of which is called the Carcinogen Identification Committee, or CIC. The second is known as DART, or the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee. These two boards are hired by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Representatives on these boards are qualified staff scientists who then compile evidence from research and community input. If they decide the given substance should be deemed harmful and carcinogenic, it will be added to the list.
Second, what’s called as an “authoritative body” can add a substance on the list. These bodies are appointed by CIC and DART. Examples of those include the United States Food and Drug Association, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the National Toxicology Program, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the International Agency on Cancer Research. They have been assigned the ability to add whatever chemicals they deem unsafe due to their purpose in protecting human and environmental health.
A third way a chemical can be added to the list is by a federal agency’s approval. This is where most drugs on this list come from. Prescription medications are required by the United States Food and Drug Administration to have warning labels depicting carcinogenic warnings and therefore they can add them to the list if applicable.
Lastly, the fourth and most general way that a chemical can be added is if it meets unspecified scientific criteria and in the California Labor Code. The whole Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, or Proposition 65, began using this as the way to add substances to the list in 1986 and is the most general way to do so.
If the public has concerns about any chemical or substances that they believe may be leading to cancers or birth and reproductive issues, they can bring it to awareness of an authoritative body, and they can further research it. Here at Bulk Nitrile Gloves, we want our rubber gloves to be free of toxic chemicals so you can have a safe business. We are transitioning to providing safe, disposable gloves that satisfy the criteria of Proposition 65.
When a substance is added to the list of dangerous chemicals, they are allotted a certain amount of time to change their protocol. For example, once a chemical is added to a list that exists within their product, they have 12 full months to comply with the mandated requirements stated by Proposition 65. This includes the proper labeling and distribution of notices of warnings.
If the business is distributing chemicals into a water source, they are given 20 months to cease doing so.
Some businesses may be exempt from following these warning protocols. If a company has less than 10 employees, they are not required to produce warning signs. Likewise, if exposure or use of chemicals is so minuscule as they won’t yield harmful effects in reproduction or cancer, warnings are not necessary.
Warnings are included on labels if the business or company is large enough and produces one or more potentially deadly chemicals. That being said, if a company is too small or produces minuscule levels of carcinogens, they need not be reported.
If a company’s chemical use is deemed with “no significant risk level”, this means exposure to this chemical will not cause cancer. In numbers, this is seen at a one in 100,000 chance of contracting cancer if exposed for 70 years.
Similarly, in terms of reproductive abilities, the “no significant risk level” is deemed at very low levels of reproductive harm. This means that if rates are lower than one in 1,000 affected, they need not be advertised as a harmful chemical.
Other harbor levels have been developed by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. These levels represent the effect of chemicals being deposited into drinking water.
These levels are in numbers to help businesses determine if they are following protocol or not. Safe harbor levels are considered no risk if they fall at or below significant risk levels. These can be found for each chemical on the OEHHA website. If they fall at or above this level, the business has 20 months to fix the process of chemical dumping.
Proposition 65 is being enforced strongly in California due to residents’ concerns and growing health concerns. Since introduced 32 years ago, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act has increased both public and corporate awareness. This allows the Proposition to do its job and protect the community.
Because of its consequences, many drug and manufacturing companies are motivated to remove all carcinogenic chemicals on the Proposition 65 list from their products. Our business, Bulk Nitrile Gloves, is doing exactly this. We agree that surrounding our consumers and your customers with harmful chemicals is dangerous and immoral, so we are transitioning our disposable gloves to fit into Proposition 65 standards.
While some businesses are opposed to Proposition 65 due to its requirement for expensive testing and potentially unnecessary processes, it is definitely beneficial for the betterment of society to go through with testing. If businesses do not truthfully disclose these carcinogens to the public, they are breaking a law and can be condemned.
Since the introduction of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 32 years ago, many lives in California have been saved due to the limit of carcinogens in products, air, and water supplies. If every state had acts like these, public health could increase greatly. That’s why Bulk Nitrile Gloves is dedicated to making our gloves fit the protocol of Proposition 65. Everybody deserves to live a healthy life and choose what products to purchase or use depending on their safety rating. With the proper warning information included on materials, this is made possible. Proposition 65’s list of potentially harmful chemicals was a great addition to Californian laws in 1986 and should be implemented globally to stop preventable cancer and reproductive issues.