What is Prop 65?
Proposition 65 is also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. But that name is boring and hard to remember, so they used the magic of branding to give it a sexy, action-oriented name: Prop 65! Call those California Legislators Carrot Top because that sounds like a Prop we want to use!
What does it do? Well, Prop 65 exists to protect Californians from significant exposure to chemicals that could cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm. It was passed in the 1980's when synthesizers were dominating popular music AND after they found toxic pollutants in the California water supply. (That's not very exciting, sexy, or fun. Read the room, Carrot Top, this is not that kind of Prop!) California includes about 900 chemicals on their growing list of risky compounds.
The California Republic (which has a cool bear on their flag) created this Prop to protect beyond the safe consumption levels set by the FDA and the EPA, two organizations often compromised by BIG BUSINESS lobbying, setting more stringent limitations than the Federal Government, meaning that something could be deemed safe for use in the rest of the USA, but it requires a warning label in California. In the flip of that extra protection, California foisted Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger to the political sphere without warning labels.
E-commerce stores often sell to people in California, so the State requires us to place a disclaimer on any product listings which may contain a chemical on their list. I guess we ALL could be California girls. Brian Wilson's Wish has been realized!
Should I Be Worried About Chemicals?
While many of the chemicals on their list are harmful when a person is exposed to large, raw amounts for a long period of time, many are lower-risk, safe to be around in smaller amounts (when not eaten, chewed on, or swallowed every day for 40 years). The same label gets attached to a bag of potato chips (acrylamide) or lumber (wood dust) as gets attached to toxic runoff (arsenic). Exposure to arsenic via toxic runoff is more immediately concerning than a guilty nosh on a few salty crisps ('oy!), but the warning label looks just as scary on either. It's like putting the same warning label on Mike Tyson as on Tucker Carlson as on a Fugu Blowfish. Sure, they all can both be dangerous, but what's the context?!
In many cases, the chemicals on the Prop 65 list are only hazardous when a human is exposed to large quantities, daily, for many, many years. It is good to know if you are being exposed to these chemicals and it can lead to companies adjusting how they make their products to be safer. But in most cases, a Prop 65 label doesn't necessarily mean that you are in danger or at risk, and the absence of a label doesn't necessarily mean that everything is safe to slather or drink.
Why Does Gongs Unlimited Have to Use the Prop 65 Warning?
On a few of our gong stands, different stand makers have used a type of paint that contains a compound or chemical that is on the Prop 65 list of potentially hazardous materials.
We support informed consent and we are happy to let people know when they're at risk of exposure to hazardous and caustic chemicals. (If we could put a warning on Carrot Top, we would.) We will always do our best to find products that are safely made. If we found a product to be unsafe or potentially dangerous, we would immediately stop selling it. Our products are safe to use as intended. They're not food, so don't eat them! But when our gong stands and other instruments are used as they're meant to be used, they are safe.
If you have questions about our instruments or our products as it relates to Prop 65 and your safety, please don't hesitate to Contact Us.