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Your regular update for technical and industry information

Your regular update for technical and industry information

USA: California Proposition 65 Update


On 19 March 2021, the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) published its intention1 to list carcinogenic perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (CAS no. 335-67-1) under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (also known as Proposition 65). The public comments period opens until 3 May 2021.

In 2017, PFOA and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) (CAS no. 1763-23-1) were already added2 to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity. Based on the latest findings from the National Toxicology Program (NTP 2020), the OEHHA determined that PFOA meets the criteria for listing as it is known to the state to cause cancer under Proposition 65. 

As reported, PFOA is a perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) that was used for decades in creating non-stick properties in a variety of products, such as carpets, textiles, leather, cookware, and paper coatings used in food packaging, to control stain, grease and water. PFOA is no longer produced and used in the US and was banned worldwide under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. However, it is still present in many areas of the environment due to its persistence, most notably in drinking water. 

On the same day, the OEHHA also announced the addition of molybdenum trioxide (CAS No. 1313-27-5) and indium tin oxide (CAS No. 50926-11-9) to the list of chemicals as known carcinogens for purposes of Proposition 65. The warning requirement3 will correspondingly take effect one year later. Molybdenum trioxide has widespread industrial use. One of it's major use is as an additive to steel and other corrosion-resistant alloys. Indium tin oxide is mainly used in producing transparent conductive films on glass or plastic panels used in electronic devices.


[1]  OEHHA notice of intention for PFOA as carcinogen, 19 March 2021

[2]  Listing of PFOA and PFOS as reproductive toxins

[3]  Newly listed chemicals, 19 March 2021

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