Jul 22, 2009 Sacramento Bee

Styrene industry sues to halt California Prop. 65 cancer listing

The $28 billion styrene industry has filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court to block California environmental officials from listing the product as a cause of cancer and birth defects.
Judge Shellyanne W.L. Change declined last week to temporarily stop the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment from including styrene on its
Proposition 65 warning list, but she did set an Aug. 12 hearing on why she shouldn't issue a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from taking the action.
A spokesman for the Styrene Information and Research Center based in Arlington, Va., said in an interview Tuesday that the group wants to prevent the Proposition 65 listing "mainly because styrene isn't a carcinogen, and no regulatory or authoritative body in the world has classified it as such."
The spokesman, Joe Walker, said the Proposition 65 warning "would foster the potential for alarmist reports over nothing" and "be very damaging for no good reason because styrene has been used safely for many, many years in thousands and thousands of products."
According to court papers filed by the state, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2002 concluded that styrene is "possibly carcinogenic to humans." The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said exposure to the substance "may involve" maladies such as "headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, malaise, difficulty in concentrating, and a feeling of intoxication."
"From our perspective, we feel we're required by Proposition 65 as well as certain provisions of the (California) Labor Code and some provisions of the federal OSHA hazardous communication standards ... to list certain substances under Proposition 65," said Carol Monahan-Cummings, chief counsel for OEHHA.
Monahan-Cummings said the listing is "a ministerial process" that relies on OSHA and "related agencies" to provide the science that backs up the action.
OEHHA, an arm of the California Environmental Protection Agency, announced in June that it planned to include styrene on its Proposition 65 list. The 1986 ballot measure approved by California voters
requires businesses to list warnings about the use of the targeted substances to protect the public from potentially harmful exposures.
Styrene is used in food-service packaging such as egg cartons, coffee cups and the like, as well in thousands of other products ranging from bicycle helmets to boats, bathtubs and synthetic marble, Walker said. The Sacramento office of the legal and lobbying firm Greenberg Traurig LLP filed court papers on behalf of the industry that said its products are sold in a "highly competitive" marketplace. Including styrene on the Proposition 65 list, the attorneys said, would lead consumers to abandon styrene-based products in favor of other substances.
"As soon as California lists styrene as a 'known carcinogen,' SIRC and its members will be vulnerable to false claims that their products are dangerous to their employees and their customers," the industry's lawyers argued in their court papers. "News media looking for an alarming headline and organizations promoting themselves as advisers on 'green living' or 'environmental watchdogs' will claim there is a 'known carcinogen' in take-out food containers, bike helmets, egg cartons and berry baskets ... Styrene will permanently lose public confidence and market share."
A legal response filed by the state attorney general's office said the "balance of harm" favors the listing and that the industry's argument that it would be stigmatized by the Proposition 65 warning "is complete speculation."
"If the court delays the listing of styrene under Proposition 65, and ultimately it is found that styrene is known to the state to cause cancer and must be listed, there will be a delay in providing information to the public," the state's lawyers said. "That delay has the potential for causing significant harm to human health and the environment."


Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was enacted as a ballot initiative in November 1986. The Proposition was intended by its authors to protect California citizens and the State's drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals.

Proposition 65 requires the Governor to publish, at least annually, a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

カリフォルニア州法1986年安全飲料水および有害物質施行法(Proposition 65

規制概要:鉛、カドミウム、六価クロム含む750種類の癌または生殖機能障害を引き起こす恐れのある化学物質がリストされており、規制値を超えるProposition 65 の指定物質が含有された製品に警告表示が義務付けられている。当該表示は製品上もしくはカートンもしくは製品の取扱説明書上に記載しなければならない。

警告表示例:“WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to State of California to cause (cancer, and) birth defects or other reproductive harm. Wash hand after handling.”(California low requires this warning to be customers in the state of Californja

1000 ×10×2500 =250

Proposition 65訴訟問題と和解協定

20004月−U.S.A法律事務所(MateelEnvironment Justice Foundationが原告)より日本を含むEUU.S.Aのメーカー約100社に対し、
Proposition 65 の指定化学物質が含有されている製品が警告表示なしで販売されている旨の警告が提示された。

警告対象製品:PVCケーブル(External wires and cables coated with PVC)



Non-Exempt Product List 』にリストアップされている製品(69項目)
Hair Dryer, Computer Mouse Cord, Portable DVD Player,Portable TV, Extension Cords, Laptop computer Cord,Video Game Accessories, etc.


ICP法、EPA Method 7240 (前処理:EPA Method 160.4 or 3050

警告表示内容:WARNING : This product contains chemicals, including lead, known to the State of California to cause cancer, andbirth defects or other reproductive harm. Wash hands after handling

警告表示方法:(1)製品もしくは梱包箱にラベルを貼るか印刷すること。(2) 操作が難しい製品でユーザーが必ず取扱説明書をみる場合、その取説上に表示しても良い。(3)ネット販売品の場合はカリフォルニア州からアクセス出来るWebsite全てに表示すること。(4)ダイレクト販売の場合は、製品のInvoiceに表示すること。