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What Is California Proposition 65 And How Does It Apply To Lawnmowers?

California Proposition 65 is a law administered by the Cal/EPA's California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) under which it is mandatory to provide a warning on the sale of products and items that could contain materials or chemicals that can cause cancer and other harmful defects. It was aimed at providing safe drinking water and safeguarding its citizens from exposure to toxic elements through different products that may contain certain degree of harmful chemicals and substances.

Under the California Proposition 65 rules and regulations, it is illegal for a business to knowingly promote or sell products that contain substances that can harm or cause birth defects in customers without their knowledge. A list naming such harmful substances that can cause hazards such as cancer and other body defects have been clearly mentioned by the California proposition. In case a business is selling or promoting a product that contains traces of such harmful substances, then the proposition demands that the manufacturer and seller provide a clear warning on the product, educating customers about the harmful effects of the substances included.

Ever since the California Proposition 65 has been enacted, it has become compulsory for every company in California to add notices containing the names of the specific substances that go into a product on the label. And for those substances that are considered harmful under their listings, a warning has to be made to the customers, stating the name of the substance and what kind of harm it can cause. Also, the CAS chemical classification number has to mentioned along with the warning.

When it comes to lawnmowers, there are a number of different kinds and styles of products that are available in the market. But certain lawnmowers have the California Proposition 65 warning stamped on them. This is because there are certain aspects related to use of lawnmowers that can cause certain health problems for its customers.

Before purchasing a lawnmower, it is very important to check out the webpage of the company you are planning to buy the product from. Most lawnmower websites will have product details page where all important information regarding the various products will be given. It is here that California Proposition warnings will also be announced if it applies to the products mentioned.  Here at The Lawn Mower Site we try to help you in two ways - when we discover that a lawn mower carries a Proposition 65 warning, we add it to this list; also we publish almost all of the manufacturers' web site URLs.  You can see these via the 'Browse Lawn Mower Brands' link in the top menu.  Additionally when you look at a list of lawn mowers on the site or an individual mower, check out the tags.  If 'Proposition 65 Warning' is listed then our research suggests that the lawn mower carries some sort of warning for California residents.

Lawn mowers are known to emit volatile organic compounds known as VOCs while it is in use. The emission of nitrous oxides is also a usual occurrence when it comes to lawn mowers. The gas powered lawn mowers are known to create a pollution hazard for the neighborhood when it is used. The portable fuel containers and high powered engines that require constant supply of gas are the reasons for the emission of highly volatile pollutants into the air.

The warning when posted will usually contain words that specify that the product contains substances that are known to cause caner and reproductive harm or defects. It has to name the chemicals or substances that are included in the product that can cause the harm. There are no fixed sentences or phrases that are required to be used in the warning. The only condition is that the customer should know what kind of harmful defects are being talked about and the warning should be stated in clear terms. The probable diseases or harmful effects should be specified clearly.

The most common warning posted is:

“This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm”.

Though, under the California Proposition 65, there is no definite level or concentration of chemical or harmful substance that makes it an acceptable for customers, any kind of exposure that causes a reasonable chance of harming to the customer will be considered under this proposition. In such cases, it has to be established that the customer is actually being exposed to the chemical or substance. The mere presence of the material in the product is not enough to warrant a warning on the product.

Though the concentration of the harmful substance in itself may not be the main criteria when it comes to providing the warning, it would definitely be a fact that would be taken into account before any decision is made regarding the safety of the product for the customers. This applies to land mowers also. The amount of harmful substances that are emitted by the product decides whether the warning is required to be provided on the machine or not.

There are several different kinds of lawn mowers that are available in the market. The gas mowers were the most popular mowers that were used for a long period of time. But in the last couple of years, the electric mowers have become equally popular. But it is mostly the gas powered lawn mowers that are known to emit the most harmful pollutants into the air. The kind of gas powered lawn mowers used also depends on the kind of area being mowed. For larger areas and steeper grassy lands, different kinds of land mowers may be required. The amount of gas used up depends upon the kind of machine being used. The bigger the machine, the bigger the engine and the more pollution you will be responsible for. When you are looking to purchase a gas empowered lawn mower, you should always look to see if the California Proposition 65 warning is given by the company for the mower.

In case any company or manufacturer does not adhere to the rules stated by the government and does not provide the California Proposition 65 warning on its products in case they contain the harmful chemicals or substances listed, the company can be sued in the court of law. Violation of the proposition can mean a fine up to $2,500 per day for every violation for the business. It will further have to ensure that it adheres to the proposition from then onwards. Also, found guilty, the business may be penalized for conducting ‘unfair business practices’ under California Proposition 64.

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