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California Proposition 65

Comments from the Founder

It may seem strange to discuss California law on a Texas website, but as of August 2018, the law became so intrusive, to people everywhere, that I was compelled to comment. I will preface by saying that this is my my personal opinion, so while it may be an informed opinion, it is an opinion, nonetheless.  I encourage you to to do your own research and form your own opinion.

Here is the main problem I see with Prop 65: It mandates warnings, but does not offer any useful explanation or guidance as to the actual risk, or how to deal with it. 

Unscrupulous lawyers are now preying on anyone who they can find to be non-compliant, so manufacturers and sellers are now applying the warning labels out of fear of prosecution. Quite often, it is too expensive to prove that their products qualify for the "Safe Harbor" exclusion.  For example, Jensen Transformers is now applying the warnings across their entire product line, partly because the finish on their products uses a powder coating process, and the powder coating material may contain substances that are included on California's vast list of "harmful" substances. To be clear, one would have to ingest the finish in order to be at any risk, if in fact the particular powder coat material did contain any offending substance(s).  So we are talking about scraping the coating off and eating it, or sanding it down into a dust that would be fine enough to inhale or otherwise find its way into one's body. And then along with that, how many pounds of this material would one have to ingest, either as a single act, or on an ongoing basis, before it would cause any harm? If one were to somehow ingest all of the powder coating off of a given product, would the amount of harmful substance present in that coating be significant as compared to the disadvantages of having ingested the bulk of the coating itself?

In my mind, it is a well known and accepted fact that people should not ingest such things.  These are things that good parents teach their children.  It's why parents put locks on cabinet doors - to protect their children until they are old enough to understand these fundamental dangers.  Don't run with scissors.  Look both ways before crossing the street.  Don't eat the powder coating.  All of these things fall under the category of home training and common sense.

Another problem with P65 is that it does not specify the level of risk, nor does it consider benefit-to-risk. 

For example, coffee is on the P65 list, but is coffee actually dangerous in any significant way?  And is that potential danger significant in light of the fact that coffee also has certain benefits, such as anti-oxidants, that might be more important than the negative factors?  In my mind, even if one believes coffee to be "harmful", it should not be on the same list as radioactive substances.  Lead is on the list too, and one could certainly argue that lead can be harmful under certain circumstances.  But most vehicles in the world have a battery that consists of over 50 pounds of lead, submerged in sulfuric acid, right under the hood.  It would be "harmful" if one consumed the acid and/or the lead.  Heck, it would even be harmful to drop it on one's foot.  But that is not to say that it is "harmful" in normal use. The risk of driving the vehicle is far greater than any risk from the vehicle's battery. In my opinion, to incite fear without explanation or perspective is irresponsible.  And pointless.  And again, without perspective, one might assume coffee to be as harmful as lead and/or sulfuric acid.

With all of that being said, some of the products that we offer may contain substances that are included on California's list.  We are not in California, and our company is small enough to be exempt from the mandates as they relate to the products that we build in-house. For example, some of our custom-built cables use the finest silver solder, which includes an alloy of lead.  Lead is on the P65 list, but it presents no practical danger to anyone using our cables as intended. For the most part, we shrink-wrap soldered connection, so one would have to go out of one's way to even come into contact with it.  And in order to be harmful, one would have to ingest the product.  In case it is not obvious, our products should not be ingested.  Be smart.  Don't do things that you wouldn't want a child to do.  Don't let your children do things that you know they shouldn't.  Like eating cables and electronics.  Nobody should ingest anything that we sell.  That is not the intended use.

But we want everyone to stay safe, so going forward, we will be adding P65 warnings to most of of our product pages, simply because the burden of determining which products might contain the listed substances is too great.  We do not believe that any product that we offer to be unsafe, when used as intended, but we also don't want to be a target for unscrupulous lawyers, so we will display the warnings, hoping that our customers are intelligent and thoughtful enough to see them for exactly what they are.

-Mark Schneider, Founder