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California Department of Pesticide Regulation Recommends Temporary Restrictions on Chlorpyrifos

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation recommended new interim restrictions for chlorpyrifos, a once widely used pesticide whose use has declined over the years and whose safety concerns prompted DPR to designate it as a “restricted material” in 2015.  The agency’s temporary guidelines include a ban on using the pesticide in crop dusting and applying it to most crops. Chlorpyrifos is currently used on approximately 60 crops statewide including grapes, almonds, and oranges. Chlorpyrifos has been detected not only on foods, but also in drinking water.  A study in 2012 by the University of California at Berkeley reported that 87 percent…

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California Adds Nickel to Prop 65 List As A Reproductive Toxicant

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced that nickel (soluble compounds) would be added to the Pro 65 list effective October 26, 2018 as a result of the finding that soluble nickel compounds were shown to cause reproductive toxicity. As such, affected products will be subject to warning requirements as of October 26, 2019 unless an exception applies.   Nickel (soluble compounds) was listed based on a determination by OEHHA’s Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DARTIC) in its capacity as the “state’s qualified experts.” A hazard identification document outlining the evidence of reproductive toxicity (in developmental and…

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EPA Notified of Lawsuit Over Failure to Ban Methylene Chloride in Paint Strippers

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is facing litigation from a group of plaintiffs who claim that the failure to finalize a prohibition on the use of methylene chloride in paint strippers led to the deaths of their loved ones. The EPA originally proposed a ban on methylene-chloride containing paint strippers in January 2017. The ban never took effect and at least four people have died allegedly due to exposure to the chemical since that proposal. In all, experts estimate that 60 deaths have been linked to methylene chloride. The lawsuit alleges that the federal administration did not adequately protect citizens…

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Prop 65 Regulations Target PFAS

PFAS substances (“perfluoroalkyl” or “polyfluoroalkyl”) are a group of hundreds of thousands of synthetic organic compounds found in a variety of sources. These substances have a large number of applications. They have been used for fighting fires, manufacturing carpets, treating wastewater, and packaging fast food. In the past, state regulators have been at the forefront of addressing the health hazards associated with these substances. Now, the federal government is indicating that it plans to take action relating to PFAS exposure as well. PFAS substances are considered chemicals of concern not only because of their pervasive presence, but also because of…

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Manufacturers of Talc Products May Face Liability Under Prop 65

Products that contain talc have been the target of decades of litigation alleging that the chemical causes asbestos related injuries and ovarian cancers in users. Johnson & Johnson, one of the leading producers of talc products, currently faces over 11,000 lawsuits related to these claims in California and other states.  The majority of these lawsuits allege that users of talc products developed ovarian cancer from exposure to talc. Proposition 65 Lawsuits Targeting Talc California’s right-to-know laws may represent a new avenue for litigation against talc product manufacturers. In California, talc containing asbestiform fibers is listed as a carcinogenic substance. Now…

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