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California’s Prop 65 and Public Health Concerns over Carbon Black

LA Testing provides testing services to protect the public and help businesses comply with California’s Proposition 65.


In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address increasing concerns over exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, is better known by its original name of Proposition 65. 
Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment.  This list includes airborne, unbound carbon black particles of respirable size. It was added to the Prop 65 list in 2003.
Inhaling carbon black particles can irritate the lungs and potentially result in lung disease. Carbon black can also irritate the eyes, nose and throat.  Carbon black is used by industry to strengthen and color rubber, to color inks, coatings, plastics and leather, and to insulate electrical equipment. 
Carbon black can also form as an air-polluting particle when fuels are not completely burned. These carbon black particles are often coated with other chemicals making them more hazardous than commercially produced pure carbon black. The particle coatings may include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
“When people are exposed to high levels of carbon black over time it’s possible for the particles to get lodged deep into the lungs,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.   “If it stays in the lungs, the condition may lead to bronchitis and eventually to a chronic condition called obstructive pulmonary disease. In addition to carbon black being listed on California’s Proposition 65 List, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified carbon black as a Group 2B, meaning possibly carcinogenic to humans.  LA Testing provides air testing services to help prevent exposure to this potentially dangerous material.”
LA Testing has sponsored an educational video about carbon black that can be seen at:
To learn more about testing for carbon black or other Proposition 65 testing services please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794. 
About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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