California Proposition 65 Warning

California Customers Only: Proposition 65 Information

Proposition 65 is a California law that requires businesses to include a warning to California customers regarding any products that contain measurable amounts of any one of over eight-hundred chemicals, many of which are naturally occurring.

“WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

Some herbs may contain low levels of lead which are often naturally occurring in the earth and in groundwater. These levels are well below FDA's current tolerable intake levels (and much less than the amount shown to cause harm in adults).

Why do I see a Proposition 65 warning on my order?

Because of the unique nature of this state-specific law, we must display a Proposition 65 warning on all orders that are shipped to California, regardless of what items are on the order. This warning is the same one that is found posted on hotels, stores, gas stations, airports, golf courses, public parks, and other public buildings found throughout the state.

It would be virtually impossible to test every herb and every product we have for all 800 substances on the California Proposition 65 list. For this reason, out of an abundance of caution, we have opted to place the Proposition 65 warning on every order we ship to California.

What is California Proposition 65?

Proposition 65 was passed in 1986 with the intention of increasing accountability and preventing people and companies from dumping toxic material in California waters. It is known as "The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986," and it enforces the idea that people have the right to know about the presence of dangerous chemicals in their food and water.

Chemicals recognized by the State of California to contain carcinogens or cause reproductive harm are subject to the requirements of Proposition 65. One of the most cited chemicals is lead, which naturally occurs in soil, water, and the ocean. According to Proposition 65, the content of lead has particularly stringent regulations, requiring a warning if its presence exceeds 0.5 micrograms in any given product per day. This is nearly 1,000 times lower than the amount known to cause reproductive harm according to the federal government.

Are there exceptions for substances or chemicals that occur naturally?

If a company can prove that a substance or chemical occurs naturally in its products, it is exempt from Proposition 65. However, for the last 100 years or so, industrial change in the United States and in the developing world has created an increase in the amount of lead spread throughout the environment. There is no doubt that practices such as using leaded gasoline, burning coal, oil and other fossil fuels have all had a detrimental effect on our environment. These actions have spread lead into the atmosphere, rainwater, our oceans, and into the soil where it is absorbed by plant life.

For this reason, it isn't possible to claim that the lead content appearing in our products is entirely natural. Even though lead is never added to any of our products, and even though our products are safe, proving that lead only occurs naturally is prohibitively expensive.

In order to inform our customers, we now label our California packaging for our products with a California Proposition 65 warning.

Prop 65 Warning Label

California Prop 65 is California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. Companies are required to place a warning label on any product they sell within the state of California if it exceeds the level that the State has established as risk free for a list of over eight hundred chemicals including some naturally occurring heavy metal minerals.

The elements that triggered this California Prop 65 labeling requirement are lead and cadmium. Lead and cadmium are naturally occurring minerals and are present in soil around the globe to varying degrees and as such can be absorbed by plants grown in that soil.

The standards for lead and cadmium as set by California through Prop 65 are specific to the state of California and are more stringent than what is required by the World Health Organization (WHO), European Union (EU), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Canada and the Unites States Pharmacopeia (USP).

Daily Lead Intake Standards

Many common foods have trace levels of lead and cadmium, including dairy, meats, grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and canned or prepared foods. In many instances these common foods exceed the established Prop 65 standards.

Max Levels of Lead in Common Foods

Source: US Food and Drug Administration, Total Diet Study Market Baskets 2006 through 2011

A Perspective on Key Units of Measurement:

Contaminants are often expressed in micrograms (mcg). When considering the levels of naturally occurring elements such as lead or cadmium found in food it is helpful to put these units of measurement into perspective.

Microgram (mcg): A microgram is one/one millionth of a gram. To put this unit into perspective, a penny weighs 2 grams. To get a microgram, you would need to divide the penny into 2 million pieces. A microgram is one of those two million pieces.

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For more information on Proposition 65, please visit the following link:
https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/general-info/proposition-65-plain-language

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