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New CA Proposition 65 Enforcement Trend: PVC and Vinyl Packaging

Posted By RCVF Admin, Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Updated: Monday, August 5, 2019

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New CA Proposition 65 Enforcement Trend: PVC and Vinyl Packaging

By Bao M. Vu, Of Counsel at Stoel Rives LLP

 

 California’s Proposition 65 requires that products exposing California consumers to certain chemicals carry specific warnings.  As a refresher, new regulations went into effect a year ago that significantly changed the required warnings.  Among other significant changes, the following abbreviated warnings are now acceptable under certain circumstances:
 

WARNING: Cancer – www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

WARNING: Reproductive Harm – www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm – www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.


As many in the industry know, there are certain size and placement requirements, and situations in which the above warnings may not be enough under Proposition 65.  Indeed, many manufacturers and others in the distribution chain are well versed in Proposition 65’s requirements and thoroughly test and place warnings as needed on their products. 

But a new enforcement trend among plaintiff’s lawyers (who are on the prowl to make big money off seemingly trivial violations) involves PVC, vinyl, and similar packaging.  Specifically, those lawyers have caught on that manufacturers sometimes don’t think to test the clear packaging in which their products are displayed and sold.  That clear packaging may independently trigger the warning requirements under Proposition 65, because that clear packaging is often made of PVC, vinyl, or similar materials that contain phthalates such as DEHP, DINP, and DBP, just to name a few.  In other words, that clear packaging may trigger the warning requirements under Proposition 65, even if the actual product itself has test results that do not reveal any Proposition 65-listed chemicals.  So please don’t forget to test your packaging for Proposition 65-listed chemicals too!

For more information about Proposition 65 and this new trend, please contact Bao M. Vu, Of Counsel at Stoel Rives LLP, at 415-500-6572 or bao.vu@stoel.com.  Bao is an experienced Proposition 65 lawyer who has significant experience defending clients in state and federal courts throughout the U.S.  His clients include manufacturers, packagers, distributors, and retailers.  Bao has a successful track record of aggressively defending clients in Proposition 65, false and deceptive advertising and labeling, and unfair competition lawsuits, as well as favorably resolving government investigations. 

 

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