Eleven months after issuing its original proposal to significantly restrict the use of so-called “short-form” Prop 65 safe harbor warnings, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) published a revised proposed regulation on December 13, 2021.

The original proposal, which we summarized here, would have required businesses to make significant revisions to their warnings, including requiring the warnings to identify chemicals, and would have limited the use of the short-form warnings to few products with small labels. The new proposal makes the following changes, several of which were in direct response to comments submitted by industry:

  • The maximum size of a label eligible for a short-form warning increases to 12 square inches, from 5 square inches, although the regulation prohibits the short-form if the label is able to accommodate the full-length safe harbor warning.
  • Recognizing the possibility of differing warnings for the same product, and the increased burden on retailers, the revised proposal eliminates the original proposal that would have prohibited the short-form warning on websites and in catalogs for products that are labeled with the short-form warning.
  • Added the ability to use the signal words “CA WARNING” or CALIFORNIA WARNING.”
  • In response to concerns about the language of the proposed warning stating “Cancer risk from [name of chemical]”, OEHHA offered alternative warning language: “Exposes you to [name of chemical] . . . .”

Despite industry comments seeking additional sell-through, OEHHA did not change the grace period for products manufactured up to one year after the effective date.

OEHHA is taking comments on the proposed revisions through January 21, 2022. We expect the regulation to finalized shortly thereafter, and submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for approval.