What is third-hand tobacco smoke and is it dangerous?

In general terms, the phrase "third-hand tobacco smoke" ("THS") refers to the tobacco particulates and gas that get on clothes, in hair, etc. You have smelled it when you approach a smoker, even if they are smoking at that time. Technically, it consists of residual tobacco smoke pollutants...

OEHHA proposes to list cyanide as a male reproductive toxicant under Proposition 65

As you may recall from prior posts, the warning threshold for a "reproductive toxicant" under Proposition 65 is determined by finding a "no-effects" level, and then dividing that number by 1,000. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), a part of Cal-EPA, administers...

California Court of Appeal upholds use of alternative listing methodologies for Prop. 65

There are several methods by which a "chemical" (a term of art) can be listed under California's Proposition 65. See, for example, http://www.rmkb.com/index.cfm/publications/publication-details/?pkid=253 (pp. 3-5). In California Chamber of Commerce v. Brown , 2011 Cal. App. LEXIS 694...

California adds methyl isobutyl ketone, a widely used solvent, to the Prop. 65 list of chemicals

Methyl isobutyl ketone (CAS No. 108-10-1) is a very widely used solvent. The Office of Health Hazard Assessment (known affectionately as OEHHA [o-we-hah]) published a notice Sept. 16, 2011, that it intended to list MIK pursuant to the "labor code mechanism" (see http://www.rmkb.com/index.cfm...

California Attorney General seeks to limit scope of "public interest" releases in Prop. 65 settlements

California's Proposition 65 ( Sections 25249.5 et seq Health & Safety Code ) is an unusual regulatory scheme. Lawsuits may be filed by private individuals. Plaintiffs are not required to have standing. The law only addresses a warning requirement; it does not itself prevent or constrain the presence...

New Chemicals Proposed for Addition to California’s Proposition 65 List

By Katherine M. Rahill, Partner, Jenner & Block In December and January, the California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment ("OEHHA") announced its intent to add seven new chemicals to the Proposition 65 chemicals list: •...

EPA may be preparing tough report on dioxins in food

Dioxins collectively refers to hundreds of chemical compounds that share certain structures and biological characteristics. See Dioxin . Dioxins fall into three closely related groups: the chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (CDD's) chlorinated dibenzofurans (CDF's), and certain polychlorinated biphenyls...

California Adds Methanol to the Prop 65 List as a Reproductive Toxicant

The Office of Health Hazard Assessment ("OEHHA") [pronounced Oh-we-hah] has added methanol (CAS No. 67-56-1) to the list of chemicals known to the State to cause reproductive toxicity for purposes of Proposition 65. A "reproductive toxicant" is one that causes birth defects and/or...

BPA, the never-ending saga

Prior posts have reviewed various studies that indicate that BPA has estrogenic effects. In January 2013 the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposed listing BPA under California's Proposition 65 because OEHHA's evaluation of the data indicated an adverse impact on...

California adds BPA to the Proposition 65 List of Chemicals

Numerous prior posts have dealt with the controversy over BPA. Besides the numerous animal and other non-human studies, prior posts have noted that the primary route of exposure appears to be thermal cash register receipts, not merely the plastic water bottles, can liners, and medical tubing that until...

The never ending story of BPA

As noted in prior posts, the Office of Health Hazard Assessment ("OEHHA", pronounced oh we hah) added BPA to the Proposition 65 list of reproductive toxicants on April 11, 2013. The basis was the authoritative source mechanism. [See http://www.rmkb.com/tasks/sites/rmkb/assets/image/253.pdf...

Governor Brown says he wants to reform Proposition 65, but where's the beef?

Governor Brown has announced he intends to reform California's Proposition 65. However, no detailed legislative language has been proposed, only an announcement about the California Environmental Protection Agency (the parent of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment which administers...

Assembly Bill 227 – An Ineffective Attempt To Reform California's Proposition 65

The 60-day notice provision of Proposition 65 was allegedly modeled after several then existing (1986) Federal environmental statutes. OEHHA: Final Statement of Reasons for Section 12903 (5/14/97) at http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/law/903fsr.html . Like Federal law, Proposition 65's notice provision...

AB 227, aimed at amending California's Proposition 65, continues through the legislative process, though with major amendments

A prior post noted the very substantial problems with AB 227. If it was meant to be a universal cure, it was woefully inadequate. However, it now appears that its scope has been limited substantially, which makes it somewhat more reasonable as a solution to the tactics used by some plaintiffs to "shakedown"...

OEHHA proposes to list "emissions from coal combustion" under California's Proposition 65

OEHHA, the State regulatory agency overseeing the administration of Propositon 65, has announced its intent to list "emissions from the combustion of coal" as a carcinogen. See http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/CRNR_notices/admin_listing/intent_to_list/noil060713coal.html . The emissions at issue...

Who literally profits from Proposition 65 litigation?

An interesting two-piece assessment has been published by KQED, the San Francisco PBS radio and television station. They are succinct and informative. Links to the two articles can be found at: http://blogs.kqed.org/science/audio/who-profits-from-proposition-65-part-one/ http://blogs.kqed.org...

California Enacts Modest Reform to Proposition 65

By Karen F. Lederer and Eric L. Unis On October 5, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill amending the state’s notorious Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as Prop 65, giving some protection to a few businesses. Prop 65 has long been...

California's OEHHA Adds New Chemical to Proposition 65 List, Setting up Product Manufacturers/Distributors as Targets to Eager Plaintiffs' Bar

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced that it will add diisononyl phthalate (DINP) to the list of chemicals known to the State to cause cancer for purposes of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (widely known as Proposition 65). DINP is...

California Proposes Enhanced Prop. 65 Warnings and Possible Online Disclosures - Dietary Supplements and Foods Specially Targeted

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has announced that it is considering implementation of the most significant changes to Prop. 65 regulations in more than two decades. OEHHA has posted the draft regulation and Initial Statement of Reasons on its website. Passed...