California’s Proposition 65

What is California’s Proposition 65?

California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, known as Proposition 65 or “Prop 65,” is a California law that requires Sellers to provide warnings about exposures to chemicals that have been identified by California as causing cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. California publishes a list of the chemicals it has identified that now has approximately 900 chemicals on it. In relevant part, all products sold into the state of California that contain these chemicals must warn the buyer about the presence of that chemical in the product unless the amount of the chemical in the product has been conclusively demonstrated to not cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm.

Are Products with a Prop 65 Warning Unsafe?

A Prop 65 warning notice is required for any product that contains any amount (or, in some cases, amounts over the specified threshold) of a Prop 65-listed chemical. When that warning is present on one of our Sellers’ product pages, it does not mean that the product is unsafe. The warning is only intended to provide information for California residents to make an informed decision about products that they purchase.

While California has identified some safe thresholds for Prop 65 chemicals in a product, most chemicals are on the list with no such threshold. What that means is that a company that sells a product that has even a trace amount of that chemical must warn buyers in California about the exposure unless the company can prove with sophisticated scientific testing that the level of that chemical in the product does not cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Because it is very costly to conduct this testing and difficult to prove that a chemical does not cause these health issues in a given amount, generally companies choose to use warnings if they know that their product contains any amount of that chemical.

Even if a chemical has not been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm in humans, California adds the chemical to the list if it has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm in animal testing.

Prop 65-listed chemicals include not only man-made or added chemicals, but also naturally-occurring chemicals found in high concentrations in natural environments like soil and plants. Thus, it is common to have Prop 65 warnings on natural products and food products even when the company has not introduced those chemicals into the manufacturing process. Many fruits and vegetables, for example, contain levels of lead well above the listed threshold.

Do Prop 65 Warnings Apply to Products Sold in Other States?

Prop 65 only applies to products sold for delivery to California. A company that sells consumer goods to consumers in California either in person or remotely must provide a warning for any products that contain chemicals on the Prop 65 list above any threshold amounts. Prop 65 warnings are not required to be included with products sold for delivery to other states.

What is doing regarding Proposition 65? wants its California Buyers to feel fully informed when making a decision about a product on Because our platform is a marketplace for Sellers to sell products directly to Buyers, our Sellers are responsible for determining whether their products need a Prop 65 warning. Sellers provide us with their product’s label and other text that may contain a warning that they believe is necessary, including a warning for Prop 65-listed chemicals, and ensures that the provided information is displayed on each product page.

Learn More about Proposition 65

For information about Proposition 65, you can visit the state of California’s page devoted to Prop 65: