In 1986 Californians voted into law Proposition 65, also known as The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, the purpose of which was to protect the people of California from exposure, via drinking water and consumer products, to toxic substances which have been linked to cancer or birth defects. The act gives authority to California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to maintain a list of chemicals shown by the FDA or similar national organizations to be carcinogenic or cause birth defects. Any company found to be dumping any of these substances into drinking water sources can be fined and required to discontinue the dumping. The act also states that any company which exposes consumers to significant amounts of these chemicals via their products must provide a warning on the product or in the store. Failure to comply with the necessary warning means the company can be sued by state or city government attorneys or private attorneys given proper notice to the company and the Attorney General.
Of course the original intention of Prop 65 was decidedly good. Consumers deserve safe drinking water and to know if the products they buy and use could be harmful to themselves or their children. The list maintained by OEHHA does provide a thorough look into potentially dangerous chemicals. The list includes more well-known harmful toxins like tobacco smoke, lead and DDT, but also more obscure chemicals people may not have realized are potentially dangerous, like caffeic acid and acrylamide found in coffee, cadmium which is used in some jewelry or metallic nickel. Some of these, like acrylamide, have become quite controversial as they have caused a lot of problems for coffee makers in the state. Starbucks is currently delaying a trial which accuses them of not providing a proper warning of the potentially toxic substance in their coffee, despite the FDA saying basically that in the small doses found in coffee, acrylamide is not an issue.
It is this type of litigation which has many citizens and companies in California and throughout the country up in arms about Prop 65. The way the act is enforced is via lawsuit which can be made by private law firms. This has led to various firms dedicating themselves to seeking out companies who are in potential violation of the act and asking for settlements of several thousand to sometimes millions of dollars. These types of lawsuits have affected large companies like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, but the real effects are felt by small businesses which don't have the money to pay for such high settlements or drawn out trials. With all this threat of expensive litigation, companies need to be sure of not only whether or not chemicals in their products are on the list, but also whether or not the packaging they choose may contain those chemicals as well.
One safe choice a company can make for packaging is the anti-static, anti-corrosive packaging material known as Intercept. Intercept packaging combines the protection abilities of copper with the versatility of plastic in a safe and effective manner. Intercept does not include any potentially harmful chemicals or volatiles as many competing products do. This makes Intercept the safest, most practical solution for corrosion or ESD problems anywhere in the US and indeed throughout the world.
More about corrosion in this video:
And about Intercept Technology™ in this one:
Intercept Technology Packaging products fit within a sustainability strategy because they are reusable, recyclable, do not contain or use volatile components (No VOCs, Not a VCI) and leave a smaller carbon footprint than most traditional protective packaging products.