California Proposition 65: OEHHA Proposes MADLs for Methanol

March 16, 2012

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has officially given notice that they propose to define Proposition 65 . In regards to inhalation limits, methanol's maximum levels have been set at 47,000 micrograms per day. In terms of ingestion, the OEHHA has stated 23,000 micrograms per day as the Maximum Allowable Dose.

This notice is announced concurrently with the pubication of Interpretive Guideline No. 2012-001 and is a direct result of increasing public interest in methanol. All written comments must be submitted by the 5pm deadline on April 30, 2012; all comments will be posted on their website. For hearing requests, email Susan Luong at by April 16, 2012. OEHHA will notify the requester and any interested parties of scheduled pubic hearings, through the Proposition 65 mailing list.

The proposed MADLs relies heavily on a review of studies in the 2003 National Toxicology Program (NTP); however, relevant studies that were published after the NTP's final report were also carefullly conducted.

Proposition 65 states requirements for businesses of ten employees or more to provide warnings if there is exposure to chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. Furthermore, the Act also prohibits businesses from adding listed chemicals into sources of drinking water. Since methanol is included on this list, any business that manufactures, distributes or sells products containing methanol must provide a clear warning if potential public exposure exists.

Although the proposed regulatory levels do not stipulate mandatory requirements, businesses will be provided with compliance assistance; hence this action will not result in the elimination of jobs or businesses nor will it impact the expansion of businesses within California.

The proposed regulation will encourage businesses to lower the listed chemicals (including methanol) in their products, resulting in a drastic decrease in exposure to chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

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