California Proposition 65

Clean Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act



In 1986, California voters passed a ballot initiative titled The Clean Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. It is better known as it's original name, Proposition 65. This initiative was developed to protect the public and drinking water sources from toxic chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm. It also requires that Californians are informed of the exposure to such chemicals.


The Governor is required to publish an annual list of known chemicals to cause cancer or reproductive harm. Currently, this list contains over 700 chemicals, including a wide range of chemicals which are sometimes in products we use, such as dyes, solvents, drugs, food additives, by-products of certain processes, and pesticides.

Proposition 65 requires businesses to inform their employees and the general public of potential exposure to any chemicals identified on the Governor's annual list as causing cancer or other reproductive toxicity. The warning may be given by a variety of means, such as labeling a consumer product, posting signs in affected areas, sending notices to affected residents, or publishing notices in a newspaper. In some instances, companies comply by simply removing the chemicals in question from their products.

Additional Information:

For more information regarding Proposition 65, contact the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment at (916) 445-6900.