In 2016, Toronto’s CTV news posted a story about a local boutique and customer Tara Lawless. The following scenario is a fictitious recall of the event, based on the facts. 

“Hi, Marcie” Tara piped into the phone. “Have you ever heard of Prop 65?” 

“No. Should I have?” Marcie queried.

“Maybe. The other day, I went to Zee Zee boutique and I bought a cute toque … one with the faux fur pom poms on top. A pre-wash meant cutting off the tags. That’s when I noticed a Prop 65 alert. I was curious…an alert on a toque? It turns out Prop 65 is a warning about chemicals in a product that could cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. How can a toque be dangerous? But with 2 little boys… I tossed the toque back in its bag and deposited it outside my door.”

“What kind of dangerous chemical would be in a toque?” Marcie pondered.

“Prop 65 warning started with chemicals in the drinking water. In California. But there are chemicals used in the manufacture of everything… textiles, toys, stationery, footwear, drugs, sunglasses, food, jewelry, electrical products… anything.  The list of products is endless. And I was going to wear that toque, on my head, near my brain!!! I was scared. So, I emailed the store and told them about the warning. Just in case they were not aware!! Two days later I returned my contaminated toque. You won’t believe this…all of the toques like mine no longer had the warning tags. They’d removed them!!! The store was still selling the Prop 65 toques." 

“Isn’t that illegal?” Marcie asked.

“Apparently not. Regulations are vague. But after speaking to the manager, the store no longer sells the toques. The risks are out there and once again, it is left up to us!  

I came across Tara’s story while researching Prop 65, kick started by an Ad about an ‘All Certified Organic’ Rose Water Cosmetic Cream. While perusing the product info, I came across the California residents: Prop 65 alert

Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts 
of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, 
or that are released into the environment.’

There are over 900 chemicals on the Prop 65 listing. We do not know which chemical is in Tara’s toque that warranted the alert tag.  Nor do we know which chemical is in the Rose Cream that required the same warning. 

Manufacturers all across the USA, not just in California, are protecting themselves from hefty fines by including the alert when necessary.

By law, the company selling the Rose Cream had to issue the Prop 65 alert. But in the same ballsy breath it said the product was safe. Quote: ‘Rest assured – our products carrying a certified organic logo – are good for you and are safe for the environment.’

Does this mean a ‘Safe Alert’ ? Is this not an oxymoron? 
Should we be concerned about purchasing product with the Prop 65 warning? Probably. 

We have many important issues to worry about at this time. But while shopping online, if you see Prop 65 alert, you might click to another option. One major concern should be in skin care.