Proposition 65 (Prop 65) mandates that the Governor of California maintain and publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, and/or other reproductive harm. The list, which is updated annually, includes approximately 900 chemicals found in many everyday items. The purpose of Prop 65 is to inform the public about exposure to these chemicals.
Prop 65 does not ban the sale of products containing these chemicals but instead requires warnings on any product, product packaging, or literature with the product. A Prop 65 warning does not mean that a product is in violation of any product safety standards or requirements. In fact, the California government has clarified that a Prop 65 warning “is not the same as a regulatory decision that a product is ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe.’” Many of these chemicals have been used in everyday products for years without documented harm.
I didn’t purchase the product in California. Why is the warning included?
Our products are sold nationwide. It would be extremely difficult to determine which products will be ultimately sold or brought into California. Therefore, to ensure compliance with Prop 65 requirements, we have decided to include these warnings on all of our products, regardless of origin.
Are consumers using a CyberPower product at risk?
The California government states: “The fact that a product bears a Proposition 65 warning does not mean by itself that the product is unsafe.” The government also explained, “You could think of Prop 65 more as a ‘right to know’ law than a pure product safety law.”
A Prop 65 warning means that the product contains one or more listed chemicals. By law, a warning is required unless the business proves that the exposure to the chemical poses “no significant risk.” The “no significant risk” level for carcinogens is defined as the level which is calculated to result in not more than one excess case of cancer in 100,000 individuals exposed over a 70-year lifetime. Therefore, if you are exposed to the chemical in question at this level every day for 70 years, theoretically, it will increase your chances of getting cancer by no more than 1 case in 100,000 individuals so exposed.
The “no significant risk” level for reproductive toxicants is defined as the level of exposure which, even if multiplied by 1,000, will not produce birth defects or other reproductive harm. Therefore, the level of exposure is below the “no observable effect level,” divided by 1,000. (The “no observable effect level” is the highest dose level which has not been associated with observable reproductive harm in humans or test animals.)
Even the Regulatory Office (OEHHA) for Prop 65 states on its website that, just because there is a Prop 65 required warning on a product, that does not necessarily mean a product is in violation of any product-safety standards or requirements.
All CyberPower products meet federal regulatory standards, and product safety is a core principle of our organization.
Also, please consider the use of these products, how they should be handled, and that they, nor their contents, should not be used as a drinking vessel, licked, chewed, or otherwise be ingested. Physical exposure should be limited.
Why is CyberPower providing this warning?
Prop 65 applies to any company operating in California, selling products in California, or manufacturing products that may be sold in or brought into California, which contain a chemical on the Prop 65 list.
A Prop 65 warning on a CyberPower product means that CyberPower has chosen to provide a warning based on its understanding about the presence of a listed chemical, not because either the government or CyberPower itself have determined that use of the product poses any specific risk to a consumer. The Prop 65 warning is being made without attempting to evaluate the exposure level of that listed chemical found in the product to the consumer. It may be the case that any listed chemical in a CyberPower product falls below the “no significant risk level” classification, but testing to determine exposure level, particularly in non-food products, can be extremely difficult if not impossible, and that testing is extremely expensive.
CyberPower, as well as many other manufacturers, have elected to provide the Prop 65 notices out of an abundance of caution in order to avoid the potential for liability, even though the products may have no demonstrable risk to consumers using them in the intended manner. That is because the penalties for not complying with Prop 65 are high, and many “professional plaintiffs” sue companies for violating Prop 65. In those lawsuits, which can be extremely expensive, a manufacturer would be required to prove the exposure levels of their products fall below certain levels – but the laboratory tests to make that determination may not exist or the testing might otherwise be impossible. As a result of the potential penalties and because there is no penalty for providing an unnecessary warning, CyberPower, like many manufacturers, simply apply the warning whenever a product contains a listed chemical.
Where can I get more information?
For further information about California’s Proposition 65, please visit http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/background/p65plain.html