Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any room. It can make or break the look and feel of a space. That said, what you may not know is that some lighting fixtures come with a Prop 65 warning.
Lighting can be a safety hazard if not used properly. Many people don’t realize that it can be a source of toxins and chemicals released into the air. These toxins can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and even cancer.
That’s why it’s so important to choose lighting fixtures made with safe materials and meet strict safety standards.
So, what is Prop 65, and why does lighting have a Prop 65 warning? Let’s explore!
What is Prop 65?
Most people are familiar with the California Proposition 65 warning often seen on products sold in the state.
According to Proposition 65, businesses must warn every Californian regarding significant exposures to harsh chemicals.
These chemicals can lead to birth defects, cancer, or other reproductive damage.
Many of the chemicals on the list are naturally occurring, such as lead and cadmium. Others are man-made, such as mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
Products that contain a chemical listed in Prop 65 must use the warning label. Updated annually, this list includes over 800 chemicals.
Why Does Lighting Have a Prop 65 Warning?
Lighting, which includes the fixtures and lamps may contain significant lead levels.
Lead is a toxic chemical that can lead to brain damage, behavioral problems, etc. In compliance with California’s Prop 65 law, this warning was created.
When lead is present in lighting products, it can be released into the air and inhaled or ingested.
Studies have shown that lead exposure can cause a range of health problems, from behavioral disorders and learning difficulties to brain damage. Even low levels of lead exposure have been linked to increased blood pressure and kidney damage.
Because of the potential health risks posed by lead, California state requires that any product containing more than 0.5% lead carry a warning label.
The Prop 65 warning is intended to inform consumers about lead and help them make informed purchasing choices.
Lead is one of many toxic chemicals found in lighting products. Others include mercury, cadmium, and arsenic. When in use, lighting fixtures potentially release these chemicals into the air.
How Do You Know If Your Lighting Has a Prop 65 Warning?
In California, the Prop 65 law requires a warning on any product or packaging that emits one of over 800 chemicals. If a product includes lead in its paint, it must have a Prop 65 warning.
Led bulbs do not have a Prop 65 warning because they do not contain lead. If you see a warning on a California product, be assured that it complies with state law.
Prop 65 warning may seem alarming, but keep in mind that the levels of the listed chemicals are often below what is considered harmful. The presence of a warning does not necessarily mean that a product is unsafe.
It simply means that the product contains a chemical identified by California state as potentially causing cancer and birth defects.
What Should You Do If You See a Prop 65 Warning on A Lighting Product?
If you see a Prop 65 warning on a lighting product, it does not necessarily mean that the product is unsafe. A warning is required for potential exposure to one of the listed chemicals, regardless of the exposure is considered safe.
Some lighting products may have a Prop 65 warning even though they pose no significant health risk. For example, many LED lights contain small amounts of lead solder, but the amount is so low that it poses no danger.
Prop 65 requires products containing naturally-occurring chemicals, such as minerals found in soil and water, to post warnings labels. These chemicals may be present in trace amounts and pose no threat to health.
To alleviate concern about exposure to chemicals, look for products certified by an independent organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Underwriters Laboratories tests and verifies these products to meet safety standards.
You can also contact the lighting product manufacturer to ask about the specific chemicals present and the levels of exposure.
What You Can Do to Reduce the Risk of Chemical Exposure in Lighting
In general, Prop 65 warnings should not be a cause for concern. However, follow these steps if you are concerned about exposure to chemicals in lighting products.
- Look for products certified by an independent organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Contact the lighting product manufacturer to ask about the specific chemicals present and the levels of exposure.
- Choose lighting products with a lower risk of releasing chemicals, such as LED lights.
- Avoid using lighting products that contain mercury, such as certain types of fluorescent lamps.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, limit your exposure to chemicals that can cause birth defects and other reproductive damage.
- When using products that release chemicals by opening a window or turning on an exhaust fan, take advantage of ventilation.
You can minimize your exposure to chemicals in lighting products by following these tips, reducing your risk of health problems.