Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Revisions to California’s Proposition 65 are going into effect Aug. 30.

If your business sells products containing any one of the approximately 900 chemicals that the state believes may cause cancer or birth defects, legally, you should have a sign in your store saying as much. The warning has been mandated since the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.

However, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has revised the warning system to make it more specific and less easy to overlook.

Now, rather than generic signage alerting your customers to potential toxins in the store — typically displayed near the cash register — warning labels are being applied on the exterior of the products themselves, their packaging or on a shelf display. In some cases, they may also be printed on a receipt.

Manufacturers can put the labels on the products or supply retailers with the warning materials to do it themselves. That’s for the two parties to work out.

The regulation also requires manufacturers to identify on a label the specific chemical or ingredient in a product that could cause cancer and/or birth defects and reproductive harm.

It also changes the wording from “product contains” to “this product can expose you to …”. Example: “WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including [name of chemical], which are known to the State of California to cause cancer.” The new requirements also include a pictogram — an exclamation point inside a yellow triangle — along with this URL:

For more information, visit