Proposition 65 And How It Affects Your Swimming Pool

Do you know what Proposition 65 is and how it affects your swimming pool?

Although Proposition 65 originally passed in 1986, due to recent revisions, pool owners in California will begin to see more warning labels on pool chemicals and products. In short, Prop 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposure to chemicals that may cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.  Much like Title 20, Proposition 65 only affects pool owners who reside in California. So, if you’ve never heard of Prop 65 and don’t live in the Golden State, don’t worry.

However, pool owners in California should be aware of Proposition 65 and how it affects your swimming pool. 

What EXACTLY Is Proposition 65?

Proposition 65 prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water. Think, Erin Brockovich. Each year, California is responsible for updating the list of chemicals that pose harm to individuals or to the environment. In fact, the official name for Proposition 65 is the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Environment Act of 1986.

The list of chemicals range, however, they tend to fall within a category. These chemicals can include:

  • Naturally occurring chemicals
  • Synthetic chemicals
  • Additives or ingredients in pesticides,
  • Common household products
  • Food
  • Drugs
  • Dyes
  • Solvents

** You can view the complete list of chemicals on the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) website.

Since the passing in 1986, Proposition 65 mandates California pool and spa retailers to provide a generic warning label in the store notifying customers of products that contain harmful chemicals. However, a more recent revision to the proposition now requires retailers to make the warning labels more specific and less easy to overlook.

Additionally, the revision also changes the wording on the actual label. Retailers must change the wording from “this product contains” to “this product can expose you to…”. Products that have the potential to compromise reproductive health are also specifically identified on the label. Now, retailers are applying warning labels to the exterior of the product, its display packaging, or on a shelf display.

Officials did not create Proposition 65  to persuade you to swim less or to stop purchasing certain products. It is simply an additional warning to remind customers to use products the way manufacturers intend. Keep in mind, it is very important to read and follow the instructions carefully. Now, because of the new revisions, you have an extra warning label to help remind you.

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