The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA) 2014 proposed regulations to revise Proposition 65 warnings has been widely panned by industry critics. The overhaul was requested by Governor Brown last year when a related effort to gain a consensus on proposed rules was unsuccessful. The proposed rules contain requirements for identification of specific chemicals in the warnings, warnings for food products, pharmaceutical and medical devices as well as creating a global web site for information.
Industry believes that the specific labeling will create additional litigation opportunities for plaintiffs, and create conflicts with FDA labeling for drugs and medical devices. Further the specific language for “Environmental Exposures” includes language that admits exposure (“will expose” as opposed to the current “may contain” ) and will perhaps trigger personal injury type liability that was previously not an issue. Another sector of industry that has voiced concerns is the automotive industry as the new regulations requiring specific warnings would eliminate the ability to provide a single warning for a “complex durable good” like a car that is made up of a series of individual products. Finally the proposed use of pictograms in the warnings will, according to industry, create confusion for consumers as the pictograms have already done in other contexts.
Despite the expansive opposition it is not clear whether OEHHA will have additional workshops as the regulations progress.