October 28th, 2008
01:50 PM ET

Cancer warning labels on products: A cause for concern?

By Elizabeth Landau
CNN.com Health Writer/Producer

For several months I have enjoyed recording digital music files through my keyboard, thanks to a simple device that connects it to my laptop. But it wasn’t until recently that I discovered that the following label came with it:

WARNING: This product contains chemicals, including lead, known to the State of California to cause cancer, and birth defects or other reproductive harm. Wash hands after handling.

I freaked out. How could a set of cables attached to a small blue blinking cylinder cause cancer? The USB connector and keyboard inputs seemed harmless enough, and I hadn’t felt obvious symptoms while making music. Was I risking my life for the sake of my four-person fan base?

So I called the company, M-Audio. Apparently, manufacturers have to put this label on certain products to comply with Proposition 65, a California law that requires a warning on anything containing lead or other hazardous substances found to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.

Under this law, whose full title is The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, warnings must be placed on products with a chemicals present in amounts larger than what the California government has decided is a “safe harbor number.”

These requirements are pretty strict. For example, for a cancer-causing chemical, according to the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, “a person exposed to the chemical at the ‘no significant risk level’ for 70 years would not have more than a ‘one in 100,000’ chance of developing cancer as a result of that exposure.” So, if there would be more than one excess case of cancer out of 100,000 people over a period of 70 years because of exposure to that amount of the substance, slap on that label.

It’s not just computing equipment. Amazon.com outlines for its customers required warnings for California consumers placed on tools, lead crystal glasses, ceramic tableware, jewelry, Tiffany style lamps, electrical cords, beauty products, and even motor vehicles.

The consequences for violating Proposition 65 can be pretty fierce. One Los Angeles company had to pay a $10 million fine for failing to label lead-tainted lunch boxes (they sold 100,000 of them to the state health department), the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this year.

Still, does that mean I have to wash my hands every time I touch the cord? Mark Williams, spokesperson for M-Audio, says, “No! My gosh, no!”

In general, he says, electronics products carry this label because of the materials used in circuit boards, such as lead, for example. It’s not like there’s pesticide sprayed on the surface, he says.

In fact, according to the company’s official statement on the issue, a device with a lead warning might not have any lead at all:

Even in situations where an electronics device is completely free of lead, there is always a chance that standard third-party-manufactured accessories packaged with the device (such as a power cable, USB cable, or power supply) may contain trace amounts of lead. Out of professional diligence and a commitment to fully comply with the law, M-Audio properly marks all applicable products with a Prop 65 lead warning.

Maybe people are used to seeing these labels by now. Williams said mine was the first call he’s received on the issue in his five months in media relations at the company.

So, now I will make my techno versions of acoustic indie songs in relative peace.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

soundoff (5,892 Responses)
  1. Camilla Dk

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, and retweets? SMM Supreme uses his own panel system to generate social media traffic to any website. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes: $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers: $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Payeer Deposit – Automatic order processing – 30 minutes to send to customers


    January 22, 2021 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Bea Amelung

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, subscribers? Our Company provide SMM Services that means (Social Media Marketing) that is directly using social network websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote a website. High Quality Services / Our prices are the cheapest in the market, starting at $0.01 / 24/7 Support / API Support for panel leaders / Best prices


    January 22, 2021 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jesusita Hadwin

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more


    January 22, 2021 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Warren Harison

    I love this blog


    January 22, 2021 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. https://mbee.com.vn/dia-chi-ban-tam-compact-tai-ho-chi-minh-hcm/

    It is perfect time to make some plans for the future
    and it is time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or advice.
    Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read even more things about it!

    January 23, 2021 at 00:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 먹튀검증사이트


    January 23, 2021 at 02:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. FmfvEncox

    cialis with no prescription cialis sales canadian no prescription female cialis http://sjcialis.com/ – cialis free trial ’

    January 23, 2021 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 과유불급

    I want to start my own website. Are there any places I can do this for free with minimum advertising on them? Or all free places have heaps of advertising?.


    January 23, 2021 at 06:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Zero Covid likes Adolf Hitler



    January 23, 2021 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. domain registration

    That is really interesting, You are an overly skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and sit up for in quest of extra of your wonderful post. Additionally, I've shared your web site in my social networks|


    January 23, 2021 at 08:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. immigration lawyer New Jersey

    Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful info specially the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.|


    January 23, 2021 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. loledibles

    Its such as you read my mind! You seem to grasp a lot approximately this, such as you wrote the e book in it or something. I think that you just could do with some percent to power the message house a bit, however instead of that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I'll certainly be back.|


    January 23, 2021 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. KbbtMile

    us cialis online pharmacy rx pharmacy О±П…ОёОµОЅП„О№ОєОї П‡О±ПЂО№ cialis https://xz-pharmacyonline.com – drugs from canada online ’

    January 23, 2021 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 2 4-dinitrophenol powder

    Hi there, I check your blog regularly. Your writing style is awesome, keep it up!|


    January 23, 2021 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. froleprotrem

    Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It's on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Superb choice of colors!


    January 23, 2021 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. หวย

    Pretty component of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get actually loved account your blog
    posts. Any way I'll be subscribing for your augment
    and even I fulfillment you get admission to persistently fast.

    January 23, 2021 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 먹튀검증

    Hey, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, terrific blog!

    my web site – 먹튀검증

    January 23, 2021 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Debi Bordelon

    I love this blog


    January 23, 2021 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. https://dewapoker1.asia

    This is really desirable, however, that will be very important that will computer mouse click on the relationship:


    January 23, 2021 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 부산고구려


    January 23, 2021 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. NmilZisse

    mexican viagra viagraonlibe viagra 50mg 100mg http://xz-pharmacyonline.com/en/career-opportunities.html – cialis viagra gr ’

    January 24, 2021 at 04:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. chic sparrow

    What's Going down i'm a novice to this, I discovered this
    I've found It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads.
    I hope to contribute & assist different users like its helped me.
    Good job.

    My web site; chic sparrow

    January 24, 2021 at 05:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. kanalizacijos atkimsimas

    Right now it seems like Drupal is the top blogging platform out there right now. (from what I've read) Is that what you are using on your blog?|


    January 24, 2021 at 06:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. pokerace99

    These kinds of are in fact impressive suggestions in regarding blogs.


    January 24, 2021 at 06:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. 울산출장안마

    Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to return yet again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.


    January 24, 2021 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. JnhCrulk

    cialis buy on line cialis israel cialis with dapoxetine sale http://loncialis.com/ – cialis dapoxetine overnight shipping canada ’

    January 24, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. 대구출장


    January 24, 2021 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Talia Graveline

    Aún con mi garantía en vigencia, lo envié al servicio técnico, y debido al desgaste de sus maravillosos plásticos, y a la rotura sobre la articulación de la pantalla, se escudan en que el equipo en algún momento tuvo mal uso (supongo que se refieren a que no hacen equipos diseñados para funcionar 8 horas al día… 😉 ). Y se desentienden de él, a menos que acepte pagar por el arreglo.


    January 24, 2021 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. 먹튀검증업체


    January 24, 2021 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. frolep rotrem

    Appreciate it for this grand post, I am glad I noticed this site on yahoo.


    January 24, 2021 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. 부산출장마사지


    January 24, 2021 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. 부산출장마사지


    January 24, 2021 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Mohammed Bentson

    I love this blog


    January 24, 2021 at 23:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Wangwor

    web content March 1

    online essentials education

    marketing articles March 1, 2010

    we are going to these are merely the actual primary promoting procedures for beginners. Learn the affiliate marketing choices in addition to the develop because know-how to shop advanced procedures.

    Oswald j. Eppers

    study room exposes: Diabetes menace may be minimized by simply 58 amount regulating unwanted fat

    health articles March 1, 2010

    a report carried out by the Diabetes protection ebook (DPP) seek out range exposes that can over individuals can reduce the risk of happening vast array 2 diabetes to 58 for each lowering how much they weigh clean.

    Oswald c. Eppers

    How to reduce the loss of weight 4 dummies weight-reduction plan

    slimming down , 2010

    The fat loss 4 fools diet is an eating plan for you to calorie cycling, usually also called gram calorie bicycling. whether or not the dietary plan can't be considered as the ultimate goal attached to weight loss diet plans, when combined '.

    Oswald j. Eppers

    weight loss 4 fools dieting advantages and drawbacks

    slimming down , 2010

    The fat reduction 4 fools diet could be become more refined as one of the most purchased eating plans. immediately following acording to this diet at the present for several months, it's about time of certainly read the pluses and minuses of the diet program. similar to a b.

    Oswald n. Eppers

    precisely why have in effect older chicks risks to overpower how much they weigh?

    women's troubles , 2010

    middle aged and even excess weight the type of problem in today's times. not so quick metabolisms along with hormonal instability are frequently the explanation for the issues in suppressing hefty. many successf.

    Oswald m. Eppers

    diet plateau prevented while caloric shifting

    slim down , 2010

    dietary plateau is the place any time you're correct after initial weight reducing you aren't missing excess pounds any longer, Independent on the ate usage of calories. caloric cycling is a proven charmingdate review method to conquer the diet plan level of skill and / or t.

    January 25, 2021 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. SamZYounce

    Hi! I was able to have sworn I've been to this web
    site before but after dealing with a lot of the posts I realized it's a novice to me.
    Anyhow, I'm definitely delighted I stumbled upon it and I'll be bookmarking it
    and checking back often!

    My blog post ... SamZYounce

    January 25, 2021 at 05:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Source Link

    Your way of telling you done up this post is really good, all end up being in a position to naturally recognize it, Thanks a whole lot.


    January 25, 2021 at 05:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Kyle Mulero

    wie und wo kann ich mfk zürich machen


    January 25, 2021 at 06:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. http://www.adidasyeezys.us.org/the-google-slap-how-to-get-immediately-out-of-it/

    It is rather quite good, nevertheless view at the data with this specific take care of


    January 25, 2021 at 08:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. 천안출장마사지

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Many thanks for providing this info.


    January 25, 2021 at 13:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Tony Dietrich Gainesville VA

    It's very effortless to find out any matter on net as compared to textbooks, as I found this article at this site.|


    January 25, 2021 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Tony Dietrich

    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my website thus i came to “return the favor”.I am trying to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!|


    January 25, 2021 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. p2p사이트

    I'm extremely impressed along with your writing abilities and also with the format in your blog. Is this a paid subject matter or did you customize it yourself? Either way stay up the excellent high quality writing, it's uncommon to look a nice weblog like this one today..|


    January 25, 2021 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. p2p사이트 순위

    Greetings! I've been reading your website for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!|


    January 25, 2021 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Covid19 Fake Test

    You made some really good points there. I checked on the net for more info about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.|


    January 25, 2021 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. sour patch edibles

    Its like you learn my mind! You appear to understand a lot approximately this, like you wrote the e book in it or something. I think that you simply could do with a few p.c. to power the message home a little bit, however other than that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.|


    January 25, 2021 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. AhmdEncox

    orignal cialis sell of cialis buy cialis/canada http://cialmenshoprx.com/ – rx party cialis ’

    January 25, 2021 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. bandarqonline

    Why people still make use of to read news papers when in this technological world the
    whole thing is accessible on web?

    January 25, 2021 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. froleprotrem

    Thanks for some other informative web site. Where else could I am getting that type of information written in such a perfect means? I've a undertaking that I'm simply now operating on, and I have been at the glance out for such information.


    January 25, 2021 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. FbgZisse

    viagrapharmacy viagra online reviews viagra online at boots https://canadianpharmacy-usx.com/organic.htm – viagra online ’

    January 26, 2021 at 00:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Free V bucks



    January 26, 2021 at 04:50 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.