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. 우리 카지노

    I blog often and I really appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to take a note of your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your Feed too.


    June 18, 2021 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Camper Repair Shop Near Me


    June 18, 2021 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    Great post. I'm facing many of these issues as well..


    June 18, 2021 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Camper Repair Near Me

    I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!


    June 18, 2021 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I'm hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own blog now 😉


    June 18, 2021 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Repair

    Great article! We are linking to this particularly great post on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    June 18, 2021 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. lịch chiếu phim lotte nha trang

    Xem Trực Tiếp Bóng Đátruc tiep htv 7Theo thể thức thi đấu, đội thắng ở cặp đấu này sẽ giành tấm vé đến Lithuania vào ngày hội bóng đá lớn nhất thế giới đến futsal. Tuyển futsal Việt Nam bước vào trận play-off lượt đi tranh vé dự play-off World Cup 2021 với sự tự tin. Tuy vậy, HLV Phạm Minh Giang bày tỏ, toàn đội ko ngán Lebanon song sẽ tìm cách để khắc chế sức mạnh của đối thủ bởi trên băng ghế huấn luyện là nhà cầm quân Ramiro Lopez, người từng dẫn dắt futsal Tây Ban Nha.|Dựa vào lịch tranh tài, bạn hoàn toàn có thể chuẩn bị xếp việc làm


    June 18, 2021 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 카지노 사이트

    There is certainly a lot to learn about this topic. I really like all of the points you made.


    June 18, 2021 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. 우리 카지노

    I really love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím wanting to create my very own site and would like to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Thanks!


    June 18, 2021 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Repairs Near My Location

    This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Thank you!


    June 18, 2021 at 19:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Repair Shop Near My Location


    June 18, 2021 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Repair Near My Location


    June 18, 2021 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe that this web site needs a great deal more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the info!


    June 18, 2021 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Camper Repair Near Me


    June 18, 2021 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Repair Places Near Me


    June 18, 2021 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Camper Repair Near Me

    Hi, I do believe this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return yet again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    June 18, 2021 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    Excellent article. I am experiencing many of these issues as well..


    June 18, 2021 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. liga dunia

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.

    I'll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.

    I'm quite certain I'll learn plenty of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

    my website – liga dunia

    June 18, 2021 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. 창원출장

    I could not resist commenting. Well written!


    June 18, 2021 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 신용카드현금화

    That is very fascinating, You're a very professional blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to in quest of more of your fantastic post.
    Also, I've shared your site in my social networks

    Feel free to visit my webpage 신용카드현금화

    June 18, 2021 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Repair California

    I love reading through an article that will make men and women think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!


    June 18, 2021 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Sprinter Repair Orange County


    June 18, 2021 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Repair Santa Ana

    Very good post. I will be going through a few of these issues as well..


    June 18, 2021 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. credit unions near me


    June 18, 2021 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Repair


    June 18, 2021 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. 카지노 사이트

    I really like it whenever people come together and share opinions. Great blog, keep it up!


    June 19, 2021 at 00:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Hurricane Video

    Hey, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Safari, 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, amazing blog!|


    June 19, 2021 at 00:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Repair Nearby

    Hello there! I could have sworn Iíve visited this blog before but after looking at many of the articles I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím definitely pleased I stumbled upon it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!


    June 19, 2021 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. plumber near me


    June 19, 2021 at 01:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Repair San Clemente California


    June 19, 2021 at 01:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Repair

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site. I am hoping to see the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own blog now 😉


    June 19, 2021 at 01:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit yet again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.


    June 19, 2021 at 01:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Fast worship Songs

    Every weekend i used to visit this site, for the reason that i wish for enjoyment, since this this web site conations truly good funny material too.|


    June 19, 2021 at 02:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. 카지노사이트

    I love reading an article that will make people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!


    June 19, 2021 at 02:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Camper Repair Shop Near Me


    June 19, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Repair Seal Beach

    You should take part in a contest for one of the greatest sites on the net. I am going to recommend this blog!


    June 19, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Repair Near Me Now

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. There's no doubt that that you need to publish more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but typically people do not talk about these issues. To the next! All the best!!


    June 19, 2021 at 03:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. staples near me


    June 19, 2021 at 03:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. costco near me


    June 19, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. jamaican food near me


    June 19, 2021 at 03:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Repair Garden Grove

    Hi, I do think this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return yet again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


    June 19, 2021 at 03:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Near Me


    June 19, 2021 at 03:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. texas roadhouse near me

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me lunch because I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this matter here on your blog.


    June 19, 2021 at 03:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Repair Orange County California


    June 19, 2021 at 04:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Moving

    “ Best So Far Excellent, professional service. We made a last minute booking the day before the move and everyone was more than accommodating. By the following afternoon all our stuff was moved. Bed was wrapped in plastic at no extra charge, staff were all very polite and friendly. And even shuffled furniture around for us at the new place to get it exactly where we wanted it. Wonderful service, we will definitely be using this company for all our moves. And price was definitely reasonable for saving us all the trouble and effort. Thank Dennis and his great team on site. Greg in Delta


    June 19, 2021 at 05:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    Itís hard to come by well-informed people for this subject, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 19, 2021 at 05:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. abc store near me

    When I initially commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. There has to be a way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!


    June 19, 2021 at 05:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. 포항출장마사지

    When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a means you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!


    June 19, 2021 at 06:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    bookmarked!!, I really like your blog!


    June 19, 2021 at 06:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. salvation army near me

    I was very happy to find this page. I want to to thank you for your time for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every part of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff on your site.


    June 19, 2021 at 06:48 | 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 원주스웨디시


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.