Gov. Brown halts Proposition 65 reform effort

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has announced that it is no longer moving forward with a legislative package to reform the Proposition 65 warning notice and litigation laws.

CDA had been the only health care organization invited to participate in stakeholder discussions with the administration on this issue.

Proposition 65, passed by voter initiative in 1986 and officially known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, requires businesses with 10 or more employees to provide “clear and reasonable warning” if the product or business location may expose employees or consumers to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

In an email to the stakeholder group announcing the decision, the administration’s coordinator of the effort acknowledged that “consensus is eluding us on the Proposition 65 reform proposals that we have advanced.” She made clear, however, that the state agency overseeing Proposition 65 will be moving ahead with regulatory proposals to change the warning notice requirements.

Since 2003, CDA has provided its members with a specific, court-approved warning notice for dental amalgam and other restorative materials. Prior to that agreement, dozens of dental offices had been sued by plaintiffs’ attorneys for failure to provide an adequate warning. There has been little or no known litigation in this area since then. CDA also provides a separate, recommended notice requirement for nitrous oxide, which was added to the Proposition 65 chemicals list a few years later.

CDA will remain actively involved in the regulatory process as it relates to any changes to the warning notice requirements, with the primary goal of assuring that any regulatory changes do not result in new litigation exposure for dental offices.

For more information, read our “Frequently asked Questions” sheet on Proposition 65.