In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. The basic outcome of the vote generated the original ruling name of Proposition 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. The propositions list of chemicals now has 800- plus chemicals or ingredients that the California office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) lists as a carcinogen or a reproductive toxicant. At least once a year, the state of California is required to update and publish the list of chemicals. Voters who approved Proposition 65 in 1986 intended that Californians should have a right to know when they may be exposed to chemicals that cause cancer or reproductive harm.
On the list are a multitude of common elements used in the production of furniture such as PVC, wood dust, brass and some clear coats. In addition a flame retardant chemical currently required by the state of California to be added to upholstered furniture foam is now included among the chemicals that require the Proposition 65 warning. Within the list of elements in Proposition 65 are common additives found in products such as jewelry, lamps, ceramic tableware, lead crystal glasses, electrical cords, automobiles, beauty products and furniture.
California law requires us to use the exact wording for the warning: “ This product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm.” Since there is a possibility that one of the hundreds of elements listed in Proposition 65 can be found on any of our products or packaging we are required to include the Proposition 65 warnings on all our products.
We certainly would of preferred to place this label only on shipments going to California. However we sell items in large quantities and we do not know where each piece will ship. To comply with California Law we are forced to place these warnings on all of our furniture.