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Proposition 65 Guide

Spotted a "Prop 65" Warning? Read on...

We admit it: we're serial rule followers. And that's a good thing, of course. We want to follow the rules of the road to the letter. Not only is it just good business but, hands down, it positively impacts our customers. Because, at the end of the day, YOU deserve to be working with the most strategic, most customer-centric and most up-and-up vendors in the marketplace.

So that takes us to the Prop 65 warnings you may have seen pop up from time to time.

If you live in California, in particular, you're likely no stranger to these callouts - they're everywhere. And, while we aren't here to talk the legality of it all, we do want to make sure you and your business are in-the-know and understand the background and how these warnings impact YOU.

What IS Prop 65?

Prop 65, believe it or not, isn't new - in fact, it's been around for more than 30 years as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. Today, it's more commonly known as Proposition 65 or "Prop 65." The law was voted into place by California citizens who, at that time, wanted to require businesses to give clear, visible warnings surrounding chemical exposure. The goal? Help people make smart choices and, ideally, avoid products made with harmful chemicals - chemicals that could lead to side effects including cancer, birth defects or other reproductive issues.

Granted, the U.S. has its own safety standards - Prop 65 just kicks things up a notch and, again, is specific to the State of California. Under the proposition, if certain levels of chemicals are found in products Californians buy or have in their homes or offices, they need to be clearly mentioned at purchase. The chemical list is updated each year and businesses must review and prove "safe harbor" levels of each entrant. If they can't, they're required to put a warning label on the product.

I live in California. What should I be looking for?

Here are some examples of Prop 65 warning labels you may see on our website:

When you order from Motivators, the website warning will exactly match the product label. Our goal? Make sure you and your business have the information needed to make smart, informed decisions. It's information you deserve and information you can vet and pass on to your customers and clients.

Does this mean the products aren't safe?

While it may seem that way from the labels, these products contain chemicals found in countless household items - items you're likely using right now, without thinking twice. Again, the U.S. has strict guidelines about product safety. Prop 65 goes deeper, even, calling out virtually all chemicals that have been linked to any side effects - in other words, virtually everything.

In short, many products you're currently using contain these chemicals. Prop 65 just reiterates their inclusion, so consumers can determine their comfort level. From our end, we just like to be in-the-know and to share that knowledge with our customers.

What kinds of products get Prop 65 warning labels?

Anything and everything, really. Sometimes a very small piece of a larger product gets flagged and, as a result, the entire piece gets slapped with a warning - and a warning doesn't necessarily mean a product isn't safe. It's just an added safeguard so you can make the right choices for your business and your customers.

Why am I seeing Prop 65 warnings if I don't live in California?

Good question. Because we distribute our promotional products from coast to coast, we tend to err on the side of caution - in other words, to extend our warnings beyond just California's borders. Why not keep everyone in the loop, right? Right.

Beyond that, we're rule followers, like we said. We never want to risk any product making its way to California sans label. If everyone's informed, no one's ever uninformed - that's the goal.

Are your products Prop 65 compliant?

Absolutely. All of our products either:

  • Have NO Prop 65 chemicals present
  • Have levels of chemicals below the Prop 65 safe harbor threshold present
  • Have a clear and reasonable warning label online and on the packaging

Learn more about Prop 65.

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