Failure to comply with this warning requirement may result in the notification of a notice of violation ("60-day Notice of Violation", or "NOV") followed by a lengthy and costly Prop65 lawsuit. These lawsuits can end with settlements or court judgments which require to reformulate the concerned consumer products to meet maximum concentration limits, or to provide a warning label for those products.
Since 2019, numerous lawsuits have targeted hexavalent chromium (chromium 6) in leather articles: for this substance, CTC has so far identified more than 60 cases initiated against businesses selling different types of leather articles, mostly gloves (85%) and shoes (10%).
Since March 2021, 8 new notices of violation (NOV) for chrome 6 in gloves have been issued, a complaint has been filed (gloves), and 5 have resulted in settlements. Overall, 12 settlements were signed with the following conclusions:
This is the first time that such a reformulation is required in a settlement under California Proposition 65. In this settlement (direct link), "chrome-free leather" means “leather that:
(a) was not at any point in the production process treated or tanned with chromium based tannins, including but not limited to chromium sulfate;
(b) was not otherwise treated, dyed or exposed to chemicals that contain chromium as an intended ingredient; and
(c) was not produced in tanneries that have material residual chromium contamination; and
(d) has extractable chromium of less than 2 part per million by weight when tested pursuant to ISO 17072-1 or a successor ISO standard that measures extractable total chromium”.
No Prop65 lawsuit has yet resulted in the definition of a threshold limit for chromium 6 in leathers.