Proposition 65 Information

For more information check out California's dedicated Prop 65 website, which provides a lot of helpful information on what Proposition 65 means.

This website can be found at

What is Proposition 65?

Proposition 65, officially known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was enacted as a ballot initiative in November 1986. The proposition protects the state's drinking water sources from being contaminated with chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm, and requires businesses to inform Californians about exposures to such chemicals.

Proposition 65 requires the state to maintain and update a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

What types of chemicals are on the Proposition 65 list?

The list contains a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that include additives or ingredients in pesticides, common household products, food, drugs, dyes, or solvents. Listed chemicals may also be used in manufacturing and construction, or they may be byproducts of chemical processes, such as motor vehicle exhaust.

What does the phrase “known to the State of California to cause [cancer] [birth defects or other reproductive harm]” in a Proposition 65 warning actually mean?

Under the Proposition 65 statute, “known to the state to cause [cancer] [birth defects or other reproductive harm]” means the chemical has been added to the Proposition 65 list by one of four listing mechanisms. Learn more about how chemicals are added to the Proposition 65 list, by clicking here.

Where can I get even more information on Proposition 65?

If you have specific questions on the administration or implementation of Proposition 65, you can contact OEHHA's Proposition 65 program at, or by phone at (916) 445-6900.

For enforcement information, contact the California Attorney General's Office at (510) 622-2160, or visit

Making Informed Choices

Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed choices about their exposures to listed chemicals. You can go to to learn more about how Prop 65 is designed to help Californians learn about what these chemicals are, why they are on the Proposition 65 list, how and where exposures can occur, and how these exposures can be avoided or reduced. Any actions you decide to take to reduce your exposure to a listed chemical are a matter of personal choice.

Information on the Prop 65 Site includes fact sheets to help inform Californians about certain chemicals and specific steps they might choose to take to reduce their exposure to them. California also provides information on chemicals in certain places (such as parking garages or service stations) and products. California expects to add additional fact sheets regularly.