Sunday, 8 August 2010

For Area 51, read Proposition 65

Over at alt.usage.english, Laura posted:
While browsing the online Levenger catalogue, I noticed a footnote to a page advertising a Moleskine notebook which reads: "Prop 65 Warning for California Residents— Click here for details." Clicking took me to a pop-up window which reads:

"WARNING! This product contains a chemical known to the state ofCalifornia to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm."

Further investiagtion reveals that all the Moleskine products offered are so annotated. I am puzzled by this, and as the owner of several Moleskine notebooks, slightly alarmed. What could the chemical be? And how dangerous could it be in a notebook? I suppose there may be a chance of small children or dogs chewing it but that seems somewhat remote.

John Dean referred Laura to the Wikipedia page for (the notorious) Proposition 65. The irony of the zealous implementation of this law being that, rather than reducing litigation, it's had the effect of creating its own little legal industry.


  1. I found this blog in a google search. FYI: I actually contacted the Moleskine company and found out that there Notebook Covers, which are flexible plastic, contain DEHP, a chemical known to be a probable human carcinogen. Of course it may not pose a significant risk, but a lifetime accumulation of carcinogenic materials in our environment does. Moleskine claimed that they would be creating and distributing DEHP-free notebooks in August 2010. As of yet, I have not seen any of this new products and you have to wonder about the near ubiquitous glacial pace the corporate world moves toward fixing a problem. Though, I can't imagine Moleskine Inc.'s image can withstand brand damage for long, especially in the declining and shrinking industry of paper products.