Prop 65
Extra! Extra! Read All About It: California Proposition 65 List Updated!

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see Disney’s Broadway musical “Newsies”. The show is about the 1899 strike of New York City’s Newsboys. For those that aren’t familiar with Newsboys, these are the young men who would stand on the street corners in big cities selling the daily newspaper to the people walking past. In the event of a big news story, publishers would print an “Extra” edition. On these occasions the Newsboys could be heard shouting, “Extra! Extra! Read All About It!” to let people know something big had happened and that they had the news on hand.

Consider this blog my “Extra! Extra! Read All About It!” story in regards to California’s update to the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 or as it is more commonly known Prop 65. The list was updated on April 22, 2016. You can download the full list here. The biggest change for the list is the addition of Styrene (CAS No. 100-42-5). It is now listed as a substance “known to cause cancer”.

Styrene was included on the “Notice of Intent to List” published in February of 2015. Open comments were taken and the final decision was published and went into effect on April 22, 2016. The 2015 proposal was made under the authoritative bodies listing mechanism. Under this mechanism, a chemical must be listed under the Proposition 65 regulations when two conditions are met:

  • An authoritative body formally identifies the chemical as causing cancer (Section 25306(d)3).
  • The evidence considered by the authoritative body meets the scientific sufficiency criteria contained in the regulations (Section 25306(e)).

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is the agency responsible for Prop 65 implementation. When an authoritative body makes a determination regarding a substance, this office then considers whether or not to list the substance based on the criteria in the regulations. In this case, the authoritative body was the National Toxicology Program (NTP). OEHHA’s official statement says, “Styrene meets the criteria for listing as known to the State to cause cancer under Proposition 65, based on findings of the NTP (2011).” For more information on OEHHA’s decision you can read the response to public comments here and the final decision here.

Styrene was on a prior “Notice of Intent to List” back in 2009 and 2013 but was withdrawn in both cases.

Granted a blog isn’t a newspaper, but consider this your notice that something big and newsworthy happened.

Related Article: Has Right to Know Gone Too Far? Prop 65 In Day to Day Life »

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