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Cottage Craft Works and Proposition 65

Cottage Craft Works and Proposition 65

What is Proposition 65 and what are the requirements?

In November 1986, California voters approved a ballot initiative to address concerns about exposures to toxic chemicals. That initiative, The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 is better known by its ballot identifier, Proposition 65.

Proposition 65 requires the Governor of California to publish a list of chemicals that are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Hundreds of chemicals and materials, including many metals and plastics, have been listed and continued to be added.

It also requires manufacturers to provide a "clear and reasonable" warning before exposing anyone to a listed chemical. This warning can be given by a variety of means, such as by labeling a consumer product, by posting signs at the workplace, or by publishing notices in a newspaper. In addition, retailers are required to notify customers. For online retailers, it is generally understood that notices on product pages or during the purchase process are sufficient notice. If you are using affected parts to repair a customer's tool in California, you are responsible to communicate this to your customer as well.

What does a Proposition 65 warning mean?

Cottage Craft Works sells many products that may require notice under the extensive listing of California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 known as Proposition 65. Unfortunately, the products made in many of our small Amish and non-Amish shops are not clearly labeled by most manufacturers to designate which, if any, parts specifically need notice. We are therefore choosing to notify our customers that some product parts and finishes used in the manufacturing process may contain small amounts of lead or other substances, but there may be other products that are known to California to cause birth defects, reproductive issues or cancer. If you are unsure, please consult California's list of known materials. Specific to our pottery and water crock dispensers we have reviewed the material data safety sheets for both the clay and glaze and have found no ingredients listed on the California list which even includes the silica used in the clay that would be required only in the raw unfinished particle respirable form. (http://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/proposition-65-list) and/or the part manufacturer for more information. We use the following warning:

Warning: This product may contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information: www.cottagecraftworks.com/prop65

What kinds of materials are on the list?

The Proposition 65 list contains a wide range of chemicals and materials, including many metals and plastics, dyes, solvents, and byproducts of certain processes. These chemicals may be synthetic or naturally occurring. Some of them are ingredients of common household products, others are specialty chemicals used in common industrial applications. For example; brass items will usually contain small amounts of lead as a hardening agent even though brass is commonly used in domestic plumbing fixtures. Other metals widely used in the foodservice industry may not contain lead but may contain other listed chemicals such as nickel and chromium used somewhere along in the manufacturing processes. Painted and powder-coated finishes in their pre-application forms may also contain chemicals listed in Prop 65. Generally, these metals are not considered hazardous in their solid finished product forms and only of concern when they are being welded, milled, ground, melted, sprayed or other manufacturing processes. Cottage Craft Works and the small Amish factories who make and use many of our products for their own families are always concerned about personal health. They carefully select products made of materials that are considered free of heavy metals and cancer-causing materials.

I want to know more about Proposition 65. Where can I find out more?

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, OEHHA, maintains a comprehensive website at http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65.html. This website explains the law and offers a list of all the chemicals and materials.
You can also telephone the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment's Proposition 65 Implementation Office at (916) 445-6900.