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 (5,893 Responses)
  1. 안전놀이터 사이트

    Thank a person so much intended for making myself know what My spouse and i didn't know. I anticipate working with you.


    March 30, 2021 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. 안전놀이터

    I need to to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I have you book-marked to look at new things you postÖ


    March 30, 2021 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 천안출장


    March 30, 2021 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. FfgxHIznSm

    extended project literature review help essay help uwo help to write a research paper umd essay help

    March 31, 2021 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Tshirt

    I was recommended this blog through my cousin. I'm now not sure whether this put up is written by means of him as nobody else realize such precise approximately my problem. You are amazing! Thanks!|


    March 31, 2021 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 아산출장안마

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return once again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


    March 31, 2021 at 01:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. https://www.songmanhits.com

    I have never seen this view !


    March 31, 2021 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. zFERjJKhXe

    writing customer service standards pay essay on gender pay gap custom essay papers do my geometry homework

    March 31, 2021 at 11:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Harry Lown

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the advice!


    March 31, 2021 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 부산출장안마


    March 31, 2021 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. 먹튀검증


    March 31, 2021 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Camila Groys

    Wonderful article! We are linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    March 31, 2021 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. uzrvyLfclj

    high school admission essay help the the help race essay order of a thesis paper merit pay essay

    April 1, 2021 at 04:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Tony Dietrich

    Hello there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send this post to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a great read. Thanks for sharing!


    April 1, 2021 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Penis Sex Fake Portal

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been doing a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this subject here on your site.|


    April 1, 2021 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Anthony Scott Dietrich Gainesvile VA

    Hi there, all is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that's really excellent, keep up writing.|


    April 1, 2021 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Scott Dietrich

    Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is useful. Thank you for sharing!


    April 1, 2021 at 06:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. click here

    I really like what you guys tend to be up too. This sort of clever work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I've included you guys to my own blogroll.


    April 1, 2021 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Vách ngăn vệ sinh

    Every weekend i used to go to see this website, for the reason that i wish for enjoyment, for the reason that this this site conations actually fastidious funny information too.

    April 1, 2021 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – writing a graduate thesis umi thesis help with thesis thesis proposal help

    April 1, 2021 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Citizens one line of credit xbox credit score

    Greetings from Carolina! I'm bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the info you provide here and can't wait to take a look when I get home. I'm amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I'm not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, amazing site!


    April 1, 2021 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. หวย

    My partner and I stumbled over here by a different web page and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking over your
    web page repeatedly.

    April 1, 2021 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. ncHLqxdqWU

    copy writing agency the essay electricity in the service of man buy english research papers college essay writers

    April 1, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. https://thuocladientu123.com

    I have never seen this view !


    April 1, 2021 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. statepikemassager

    My husband and i have been so joyful when Albert managed to carry out his studies using the ideas he came across from your weblog. It is now and again perplexing to just find yourself giving out procedures which often most people have been making money from. So we keep in mind we now have the website owner to give thanks to for that. The illustrations you made, the straightforward website menu, the friendships you can make it easier to engender – it's mostly impressive, and it's really leading our son in addition to the family consider that the topic is exciting, and that's really essential. Thank you for everything!


    April 1, 2021 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Robena Sniffen

    I was excited to discover this site. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to look at new information in your site.


    April 2, 2021 at 02:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Bangalore Independent Escort

    I was wondering u did not mention the most sought after terminology used in all the blog commenting articles and that being dofollow. So, are these a mix of dofollow and nofollow attribute blogs or one should overlook this factor while commenting?


    April 2, 2021 at 04:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. list of indian companies

    Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts. After all I'll be subscribing for your rss feed and I'm hoping you write once more soon!|


    April 2, 2021 at 06:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. motherboard repair center

    Thanks , I've recently been looking for information about this subject for a while and yours is the greatest I have found out so far. However, what about the conclusion? Are you sure concerning the source?|


    April 2, 2021 at 06:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. roofing company broken arrow

    I absolutely love your blog and find most of your post's to be just what I'm looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs? I wouldn't mind composing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome website!|


    April 2, 2021 at 06:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. us company lookup

    This page certainly has all of the info I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    April 2, 2021 at 06:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. moving service


    April 2, 2021 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. 평택출장


    April 2, 2021 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. 당진출장안마

    After looking over a handful of the blog articles on your web site, I seriously appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my website too and let me know your opinion.


    April 2, 2021 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. หวยเด็ด

    Hi to every one, the contents existing at this site
    are really remarkable for people experience, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

    April 2, 2021 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. AMXhzrwswp

    help me to do my research paper who moved my cheese essay help moon phases homework help where can i buy a thesis

    April 2, 2021 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. ZnLQUTsSBD

    writing services uk college essay service not doing your homework writing agency

    April 3, 2021 at 04:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. vách ngăn vệ sinh

    This post will assist the internet people for setting up new webpage or even a
    weblog from start to end.

    April 3, 2021 at 05:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Dominobet

    Fantastic blog, keep writing!


    April 3, 2021 at 05:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. how does alprostadil treat erectile dysfunction

    who presctibes transurethral alprostadil and alprostadil-prazosin https://alprostadildrugs.com/ edex (alprostadil)

    April 3, 2021 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. https://www.songmanhits.com

    I have never seen this view !


    April 3, 2021 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. tadalafil 30 mg

    tadalafil pills 20mg https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalis sx

    April 3, 2021 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. vách ngăn vệ sinh

    you're in reality a good webmaster. The site loading pace is
    incredible. It kind of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick.
    Also, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a wonderful task on this subject!

    April 3, 2021 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. 대전출장마사지

    Very nice blog post. I certainly love this website. Continue the good work!


    April 3, 2021 at 10:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. alprostadil nasal spray

    how much alprostadil vials cost https://alprostadildrugs.com/ injectable erectile dysfunction medicine

    April 3, 2021 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. instagram takipçi satın al

    It's going to be finish of mine day, except before finish I am reading this impressive article
    to increase my knowledge.

    April 3, 2021 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. guest posting sites

    What's up to every one, the contents present at this web site are actually remarkable for people knowledge, well, keep up the good work fellows.|


    April 3, 2021 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. how can i get sildenafil prescription online

    sildenafil 100 mg tablet cost https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 10 mg cost

    April 3, 2021 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. c-alprostadil

    transurethral alprostadil https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil cream cost

    April 3, 2021 at 23:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 먹튀검증

    Cheers to you, My partner and i mastered something new. Appreciate anyone so much. I glimpse forward to nearby.


    April 4, 2021 at 00:08 | 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

Leave a Reply to grape backwoods


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.