A small amount of wood dust, brass, PVC or other elements on furniture and household items might seem trivial to many. The state of California, however, has taken the issue of ingredients in consumer products to a whole new level with its Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, known as "Proposition 65."

Originally, the proposition was intended to protect drinking water sources from chemical contamination. Over the years, however, the scope of the law has exploded. As the Los Angeles Times wrote recently, "Warnings (about Proposition 65) are everywhere: parking lots, hardware stores, hospitals and just about any decent-sized business."

Proposition 65 requires warning labels on products that may contain any of 800-plus chemicals or ingredients that the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) lists as a carcinogen or a reproductive toxicant. These include wood dust, brass and a multitude of other everyday elements. A flame retardant upholstery chemical currently required by the state of California to be added to upholstered furniture foams is now included among chemicals that require a warning under Proposition 65.

A Proposition 65 warning does not mean that any of our products will cause any harm or are in violation of any product-safety standard or requirements. The warnings are posted to allow Californians to make an informed decision about their exposure to chemicals. 

Many of the elements listed under Proposition 65 are common everyday additives found in products such as jewelry, lamps, ceramic tableware, lead crystal glasses, electric cords, automobiles, beauty products and furniture.

Because there is always a chance that wood dust or some other of the hundreds of ingredients listed in Proposition 65 could potentially be on our furniture or packing materials, we must include Proposition 65 warnings on our products or risk large fines under this law in California.

In addition, we are required to use the exact wording for this warning specified by California: "This product can expose you to chemicals including [name of California Prop 65 substance (eg Wood Dust)], which is known to the State of California to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to:

Ideally, we would have placed these Furnishings warnings only on our furniture products being shipped to California. However, Toveem, like most furniture companies, builds products in large quantities for stock. At the time of production, we rarely know where each item will ship. We have no alternative except to place these warnings on all of our furniture, whether it ends up in California or not. It is also important for all retailers to leave the warning on the furniture when they are shipping to people in California.

While there may be different opinions about California label requirements with this California law, we must honor these compliance regulations. A Proposition 65 warning does not mean that any of our products will cause any harm or are in violation of any product-safety standard or requirements. 

Most importantly, we promise to also honor the trust you have placed in us with your purchase or possible purchase of our products. We will honor your trust by offering furniture of enduring quality, lasting beauty and uncompromising safety to you and your family.

 Other Examples of Prop 65 Warnings 

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