Dentists required to post BPA notice

Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical present during the application of some composite fillings and sealants, has been added to the Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

Dental offices with 10 or more employees and that use composites and sealants are now required to post a new "Notice to Patients" about BPA in their practices. CDA has the notice available on its website. This will be the third Proposition 65 notice dental practices with 10 or more employees are required to post. (The others are the original restorative materials notice and the notice for nitrous oxide.)

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added BPA to the list after it was "clearly shown through scientifically valid testing according to generally accepted principles to cause reproductive toxicity." Proposition 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, prohibits businesses with 10 or more employees from knowingly discharging any chemical listed as "known to the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity" to a source of drinking water, and requires that such businesses provide a "clear and reasonable warning" prior to exposing any person to a listed chemical.

The law applies to dental businesses, including dental offices in California that utilize listed chemicals in the scope of dentistry and employ 10 or more employees. The law specifies that any business found in violation is liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $2,500 per day for each violation.

Under Proposition 65, the governor is required to publish a list of chemicals known to be carcinogens and/or reproductive toxicants, as determined by the state of California. This list must be updated annually. The list can be found at oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65.

Stakeholders are currently working on a regulatory package that could lead to dental practices posting only one sign with reference to the website p65warnings.ca.gov

An updated Proposition 65 FAQ written for dental patients also is available on cda.org/practicesupport.