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Advice on material warnings.

I’ve been making some items to sell on my Etsy as of late, and have been storing up pictures and descriptions and prices lists to start getting my store going soon. As I was going through and creating a materials list, I came across a warning label. One that many of us are familiar with.

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

I live in California, and I don’t know about others here, but I’ve come to see them so often I just ignore them now. But it got me thinking; I’m going to be selling to people both inside and outside of California.

Should I list this warning on items that are using materials that have this warning? Am I able to be held legally accountable for said items should something come up later down the line? Would you (hypothetically) as a customer be turned off from buying my product if you saw this warning somewhere on the listing? Is putting this warning on my listing a good idea/bad idea? Do I even NEED to do it? Is it something that should be taken into account when shipping outside of the USA?

Some items I already have listed as “do not ingest” or “do not put in mouth.” But some of them actually DO go in the mouth (this warning appears on a label for a pottery glaze that I’m using for ocarinas I’m making. So the mouthpiece does come into contact with saliva and the tongue. The label[s] however does not say anything about food safety other than the Prop 65 warning.) Others do make contact with the body, but not the mouth, such as earrings and other jewelry. Ideas?

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( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
fenrirs_child
Mar. 9th, 2012 08:43 pm (UTC)
If it was me, I'd look for a glaze/paint that doesn't have the warning and is food safe. Personally, I'm hesitant to buy handmade things like this unless they specifically say they're made with non-toxic paints and glazes, so it could be seen as a selling point that you're using safe materials.

edited for clarity

Edited at 2012-03-09 08:47 pm (UTC)
skirtandzy
Mar. 9th, 2012 09:02 pm (UTC)
If it warns you about it, I'd warn your customers about it.
If you knowingly sell and item that could cause an issue down the line, and do not disclose this information, you could possibly be held responsible, were they to press legal charges.

In today's litigation-happy society, the more you can do to cover your ass, the better.
thistle_chaser
Mar. 10th, 2012 08:53 pm (UTC)
Unrelated, but hello cat-in-fez icon buddy! :D
teekchan
Mar. 9th, 2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
I don't buy anything unless I KNOW it's safe, so I rarely buy things like this online.

What happens if someone carrying a baby buys one of your products thinking it's safe?
meeka_meerkat
Mar. 9th, 2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
If it's glaze, it's probably dangerous only when it's liquid. After you fire it, it's most likely safe. If it states that it's good for tableware, then you're probably good!

Edited at 2012-03-09 09:38 pm (UTC)
ursulav
Mar. 9th, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'd double check on the glaze. We used a lot of glazes that were hellishly bad for you in powder form, where you could inhale them, and which were completely inert once fired.
(no subject) - alopex - Mar. 9th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - Mar. 9th, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maui_dolphin - Mar. 10th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC) - Expand
aerospiritual
Mar. 9th, 2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
You should definitely include the warning label with the product materials, or if its something to be worn, or is in contact with the skin, use a safer material. ESPECIALLY when it comes to jewellery such as earrings, since they can leech into the body through constant contact with the skin- that's why don't ever see earrings made out of plastics.

I don't know if it's the same with small businesses, but where I work, in the construction industry, contractors have to supply us with a list of building materials they're using as well as copies of the Material Safety Data Sheets and the content listings so it's on record what has gone into a construction[and holy crap, there's some seriously scary stuff they use in building construction].

By not including a warning for these products you could be setting yourself up for some legal problems *should* someone get sick or discover that they bought an item they otherwise thought was safe. It's why warning labels exist in the first place. xD

SO YES. Include the warning.
mahadri
Mar. 9th, 2012 10:12 pm (UTC)
India ink has a Prop 65 warning, and some well-known fursuit makers prefer it over black acrylic for airbrushing.
msmanuscript
Mar. 9th, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
Do they put a warning on their fursuits/let people commissioning them know? I don't use India Ink.
(no subject) - mahadri - Mar. 10th, 2012 04:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Mar. 9th, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mahadri - Mar. 10th, 2012 04:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Mar. 10th, 2012 10:10 am (UTC) - Expand
cynicallia
Mar. 9th, 2012 10:24 pm (UTC)
Definately include the warning. I live on the East coast and some of the products I buy (and avoid buying) have that same warning that references California's statement about being carcinogenic. Is there an alternative ye could use on request, perhaps for an extra fee? Just play it safe, and be honest with your customers.
celarania
Mar. 9th, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
First off, look up stuff in the MSDS. Figure out if it's dangerous or not, compare to table salt or something harmless.

As for stuff that says "do not ingest/put in mouth" honor that and warn if you are using it on stuff that goes in the mouth. (As opposed to say... an oil painting) If it's just "Is known in the state of CA to..." then, you don't need to warn unless it's going to CA (or at least I can't imagine why not).

As for whether or not it would deter me or not, not really. I use a lot of paints that say that, and while I'm not reckless about them I say "Luckily I'm not in California!" :D
celestinaketzia
Mar. 10th, 2012 01:01 am (UTC)
Everything here.

I would make a booklet containing the MSDS sheets of everything you use. Update this when you get new products to use for your records.
sorcererhuntres
Mar. 10th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC)
Swarovski crystals have a prop 65 warning and people seem to buy hand made items with those all the time. I live in CA and like you i pretty much ignore the warning lol

because it's literally plastered everywhere
onesteptwo
Mar. 10th, 2012 03:34 am (UTC)
It IS plastered everywhere. >> I swear, California thinks everything will kill you down there.
(no subject) - sorcererhuntres - Mar. 10th, 2012 03:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onesteptwo - Mar. 10th, 2012 01:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bladespark - Mar. 10th, 2012 02:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - marus_puppy - Mar. 10th, 2012 03:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celarania - Mar. 10th, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onesteptwo - Mar. 10th, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
gamerfox
Mar. 10th, 2012 04:52 am (UTC)
Prop 65 today is pretty much just a vehicle for lawyers that specialize in Prop 65.
candychic125
Mar. 10th, 2012 05:53 am (UTC)
I don't remember where, but I know I saw a glaze that's non-toxic, lead free, and safe to paint on dishes and glasses. It's also dishwasher safe. Maybe you can do a search on that. Also, I've recently seen inks and paints that say they are compliant with toy manufacturing standards. You know how little kids love to put things in their mouths. That's the main thing I wanted to say, sorry if it wasn't too helpful.

But yeah, if it comes with a hazard warning, you should look up the MSDS. It might be inert after its cured (in which case you would no longer need the warning), but like others have pointed out, it might be reactive to common household items.

As a consumer, it wouldn't scare me if you were to state that warning. I'd actually appreciate it. As a seller, I would at least have all MSDS's ready in case a customer ever asks about what glue you used or so on
thaily
Mar. 10th, 2012 10:14 am (UTC)
Judging from responses, I think the prop 65 stuff might just be overblown legal hogwash. If I were you I'd make a list of materials, put a * behind the ones with a warning label and add a footnote, maybe with a link to a wiki page about it, especially if the wiki page discusses any controversy around prop 65.
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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