AHPA submits public comments to proposed Proposition 65 revisions

Proposed revisions would drastically reduce access to the short form warning format

February 2, 2022

AHPA submitted public comments to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) in response to the OEHHA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking titled “Proposed Amendments to Article 6 Clear and Reasonable Warnings” issued on December 13, 2021. These proposed revisions would result in significant restriction to the use of the Proposition 65 short form warning format, which is currently used by many companies in the natural products industry due to the small package and label sizes of their marketed products.

The most recent OEHHA proposal defines the maximum label size for short form warnings as 12 square inches (sq. in.), which responds to concerns expressed by AHPA and other public commenters to OEHHA's original proposal to modify the short form warning format, which was introduced on January 8, 2021. The original proposal included a maximum label size for short form warnings of 5 sq. in., among other proposed changes.

Under the OEHHA proposal, short form warnings would be required to include the identification of at least one chemical for which the warning is being provided. Regardless of whether a company can continue to use the short form warning under the 12 sq. in. restriction, companies currently providing warnings using the short form format will have to revise their labels to either identify a chemical related to the warning, or revise their warning to the full-size warning format.

In its comments, AHPA stated that while the latest OEHHA proposal acknowledges the concerns expressed in public comments about the restrictive and arbitrary nature of the original maximum label size of 5 sq. in., it is anticipated that the 12 sq. in. restriction will still significantly impact the ability of AHPA members and others in the natural products industry to continuing using the short form format to provide a compliant warning. AHPA noted that OEHHA has not considered the financial impact of the proposed changes on regulated industries, and that the changes are being introduced during a period when most industries are still challenged with operating under emergency orders, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions.

The full text of AHPA's comments is available here.

During AHPA's “Proposition 65 and Impacts on Hemp and Cannabis” webinar held on January 26, 2021, OEHHA's Chief Counsel indicated the proposed rule is expected to be finalized in the next few months following consideration of the recent public comments.




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