Understanding the California Proposition 65 Warning
A small amount of wood dust or other elements on furniture might not seem like a big deal to most. However, the state of California has taken the issue of ingredients in consumer products to a whole new level with "Prop 65", also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.
The proposition was originally intended to protect California residents from contamination of chemicals in drinking water sources. However, over the years, the scope of the law has grown tremendously. As the Los Angeles Times wrote:
"Warnings (about Proposition 65) are everywhere: parking lots, hardware stores, hospitals and just about any decent-sized business."
Proposition 65 requires warning labels on products that may contain any of 800-plus chemicals or ingredients that the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) lists as a carcinogen or a reproductive toxicant. These include wood dust and nickel, among a multitude of other everyday compounds.
Many of the elements listed under Prop 65 are common additives found in everyday items such as jewelry, lamps, ceramic tableware, crystal glasses, electric cords, automobiles, beauty products and furniture.
Because there is always a chance that wood dust or some other of the hundreds of ingredients listed in Proposition 65 could potentially be on our furniture or packing materials, we must include Prop 65 warnings on our products sold in California or risk large fines under this law. In addition, we are required to use the exact wording for this warning specified by California:
"This product contains chemicals or compounds known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm."
We realize that this warning sounds very alarming. However, we want to inform you that while there is research that supports health related risks due to wood dust, this research also finds that the key factor in determining the health risk is the amount of exposure to wood dust. These hazardous exposure limits are generally found in the workplace when wood is being sawed or sanded, and have not been found to be present in such levels on Epoch Design Furniture products being shipped to our retailers and customers.
The safety of our customers is of highest priority for Epoch Design. We want to assure you of our commitment to offering among the highest quality and safest products in the industry.
As you see from the accompanying graphic below, we strive to comply with the strictest environmental standards and regulations for safety, and have always abided by state and federal regulations. While there may be different opinions about California label requirements with this California law, Epoch Design must honor these compliance regulations.
Most importantly, we promise to also honor the trust you have placed in us by giving us your business. We will honor your trust by offering furniture of enduring quality and value, lasting beauty and uncompromising safety to you and your family.
Epoch Design Furniture Safety & Compliance Record
Non-toxic lead free finish on all furniture.
CARB compliant standards for formaldehyde and VOCs.
Active members of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) that sets safety standards for youth furniture, glass and furniture tip over prevention.
Compliant with all regulations of the Consumer Product Safety Regulation (CPSC) established to protect consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard for over 40 years.
Compliant with Proposition 65 labeling requirements.