What is Prop 65?
Proposition 65, also called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, is a California state law that was passed by voter initiative in 1986 to help protect California’s drinking water from harmful toxins and shift the cost of hazardous waste clean-up to the businesses that caused the need for such remedies.
The law requires the state to maintain a list of chemicals that may cause cancer or reproductive harm. The list currently has over 900 chemicals, both naturally occurring and synthetic, that have been determined by a panel of scientists designated the “State’s Qualified Experts” to determine whether a chemical should be added (or removed) from the list.
According to the American Cancer Society, not all chemicals included on the Prop 65 list have been proven by the worldwide scientific community to cause cancer. And, based on our own research, some of the chemicals on the list may cause cancer if inhaled or ingested but have not been proven to pose a risk when the chemical or compound is made as part of a product and not in its natural chemical compound state.1
Why Do You Have This Warning?
Even though Chihuly Studio is based in Seattle, Washington, we sell merchandise and artwork in California. We are required to comply with Prop 65 warning label regulations. We discovered that some of our products contain listed chemicals.
Does this mean Chihuly products aren’t safe?
Chihuly manufactures all its products in accordance with all federal and state consumer safety regulations. Prop 65 is not a safety regulation; its purpose is purely for notice to the consumer. Violations of Prop 65 are levied against businesses who do not label their products if listed chemicals are present, not for the actual use of such chemicals and use of the chemicals in consumer products is not illegal or a violation of safety standards. Only you can decide if buying Chihuly products containing Prop 65 listed chemicals is right for you.
All Chihuly glass art contains antimony trioxide, which is known by the State of California to cause cancer. Depending on the colors used, other chemicals such as lead, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic may be present.
We have not tested our fine art prints because the results would vary depending on the color combination in each artwork. Based on the information we have from our paint supplier, we do know that some colors contain Prop 65 listed chemicals, so out an abundance of caution, we are including the following warning for all of Chihuly's works on paper:
WARNING: This product may expose you to chemicals which are known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Where can I learn more?
If you have more questions about Prop 65, you can read more on the Office of Environmental health hazard Assessment website at https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65.
1For example, all Chihuly glass artwork contain the chemical antimony trioxide which, after testing, has been proven to be a carcinogen in test animals and a possible carcinogen in humans when inhaled in dust form or when pure antimony trioxide is smelted. See this article by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer: https://monographs.iarc.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/mono47-16.pdf. The antimony trioxide in Chihuly artwork is part of the total chemical make-up of the clear cullet glass from which all Chihuly artwork is made and represents less than 0.05% of the total chemical makeup of the glass.