Styrene is Added to California Proposition 65 List

Styrene is the latest substance to be included on the California Prop 65 list of chemicals which can cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Online PR News – 24-June-2016 – Geneva, Switzerland – Styrene has been added to the California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) list of chemicals known to cause cancer. Listed on April 22, 2016, the requirement to include a ‘clear and reasonable warning’ (a Prop 65 warning) on products that expose the user to styrene, will come into effect on April 22, 2017.

Styrene has been added to the Prop 65 list following formal identification as a chemical causing cancer by the National Toxicology Program (NTP). The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), part of the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the organization charged with administering the Prop 65 list, has proposed a No Significant Risk Level (NSRL) of 27 micrograms per day of styrene.

Styrene is a precursor chemical that is used in the creation of several plastics commonly utilized in consumer products. These include:

• Polystyrene
• Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
• Styrene acrylonitrile (SAN)

These finished plastics are not the same chemical as styrene and the Prop 65 listing does not apply to the finished plastic material. However, in some cases, these finished plastics may still incorporate a low level of residual styrene and manufacturers should remain aware of this possibility.

California Proposition 65, the “Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986’, resulted from a ballot initiative, which passed with overwhelming support in 1986. Under Prop 65, the state is required to maintain and update a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. The list was first published in 1987 and now covers approximately 800 chemicals. Broadly, Prop 65 is designed to protect the State’s sources of drinking water from toxic chemicals and to reduce or eliminate exposures to these chemicals in consumer products, homes or workplaces.

The financial impact resulting from non-compliance with Prop 65 can be crippling to a business and so companies are advised to check they are fully compliant with the latest addition to the Prop 65 list. SGS, through its global network of laboratories, is able to offer comprehensive testing, product assessments and consultancy services related to California Proposition 65 and can assist companies looking to manage their supply chain for consumer goods.

SGS Prop 65 Services
California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) services offer your organization analytical testing and consultancy services to evaluate your products for composition and to recommend a pathway to Prop 65 compliance. Learn more about SGS’s Prop 65 Services (

For further information contact:

William Baxter
Technical Manager, Consumer and Retail
Tel: (+01) 862 233 5775

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