Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other
reproductive harm. Exposure to these chemicals may take place when products are acquired or used. Exposure may also occur in homes, workplaces, or other environments in California. By requiring that this information be provided, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about their exposures to these chemicals.
Proposition 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water.
Proposition 65 requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. This list was first published in 1987, and must be updated at least once a year. It now includes over 900 chemicals.
Proposition 65 became law in November 1986, when California voters approved it by a 63-37 percent margin. The official name of Proposition 65 is the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.