For Businesses: Frequently Asked Questions Proposition 65 and Bisphenol A (BPA)

When does the warning requirement for BPA take effect? Is there a grace period?

The warning requirement takes effect May 11, 2016. The chemical was added to the Proposition 65 list on May 11, 2015. The warning requirement takes effect one year after listing.

How do I know if I need to provide a warning?

Warnings for bisphenol A (BPA) exposures in California are required if a business causes an exposure to the chemical, unless the person causing the exposure can show that the exposure is 1,000 times below the “no observable effect level,” which is sometimes referred to as a safe harbor level.

Does the warning requirement apply to my product? What is the definition of exposure?

The warning requirement applies to exposures, not product categories. If an exposure to BPA occurs at high enough levels, then a warning would be required.

Expose is defined in regulations as “to cause to ingest, inhale, contact via body surfaces or otherwise come into contact with a listed chemical. An individual may come into contact with a chemical through water, air, food, consumer products and any other environmental exposure as well as occupational exposures.”

How do I calculate exposures from my products?

You should consult with a qualified toxicologist to determine the best approach for your situation.  OEHHA has adopted regulations that address some aspects of the exposure assessment.

What do I need to know about the emergency regulations for canned and bottled foods and beverages? Do I have to use the warning provided in the emergency regulations?

The emergency regulations approved on April 18, 2016 temporarily provide an option for businesses to use to provide a compliant warning about BPA exposures from canned and bottled foods and beverages.

They allow retailers to provide warnings for exposures to Bisphenol A at the point of sale of the product, which is generally at or near the cash register.  The regulation does not require anyone to use this method of warning but it allows a business to do so if they provide the warning message set out in the regulation on a 5 inch x 5 inch sign.  We have a sample sign available on our website. Businesses are free to download, print and post this warning if they wish.

The regulation requires food product manufacturers, producers, packagers, importers or distributors of canned foods and beverages who wish to use a point of sale warning for their products to provide retailers with notice that a warning is required and also provide the retailer with sufficient signage for the facility.  You should contact your suppliers to ask whether the products you are selling for them will require a warning on May 11, 2016.  If so, they should provide you with the necessary signage.  Otherwise, you can post the sign that is available on our website. Some product manufacturers may choose to put warnings directly on the product label. For a retailer selling only these products, a point of sale sign would not be necessary, but can still be used.

How long is the emergency regulation for canned and bottled foods and beverages in effect?

This regulation is effective until January 18, 2017. OEHHA is nearing completion of a formal rulemaking process to adopt the regulation with some changes until December 30, 2017.  If you wish to keep up-to-date on this regulatory process, you can subscribe to our listserv at:

Does the warning for canned and bottled foods and beverages need to be provided in other languages?

Although this is not required, we encourage businesses to provide this information in other languages widely used by Californians. A Spanish-language translation is available here.

I need to provide a warning for BPA exposure for something other than canned and bottled foods and beverages. What should it say?

Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide a "clear and reasonable" warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical. Guidance for providing a clear and reasonable warning is available in our warning regulations. Warnings can be given by a variety of means, as described in the regulations.

Posted May 2016

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