Every day I enter my workplace which proudly displays this sign. But I see the same sign pretty much everywhere. If you wish to put one at your own house, you can buy it at Amazon here.
But why do Californians pay to put the same worthless sign on every building? How much does this useless warning cost us? Has one of these signs ever helped anyone? Has it deterred anyone from entering the building? I see pregnant women walk right past these signs all the time. Surely it is exaggerated?
Doing some research we find that this sign stems out of Proposition 65, passed in 1986.
25249.6. Required Warning Before Exposure To Chemicals Known to Cause Cancer Or Reproductive Toxicity. No person in the course of doing business shall knowingly and intentionally expose any individual to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity without first giving clear and reasonable warning to such individual, except as provided in Section 25249.10.
So why do businesses post the signs? Because if you donâ€™t, and some squirrelly lawyer finds that there is a bad chemical in your building, they can sue you for $2500 per day!
Of course, the law intended to make sure that building owners disclose real hazards. But, in practice this has just become a cover-your-ass sign. Building owners donâ€™t know what toilet cleaner might be considered hazardous now or in the future (the official list of hazardous chemicals is maintained by the Attorney General and contains over 850 chemicals), so to protect themselves from suits, they just post the disclosure. So now weâ€™ve plastered the same sign on every single building, regardless of whether or not there is any real risk. And by putting it on every building, weâ€™ve completely neutered any chance that the sign could ever have value.
I used to only despise lawyers collectively, but not individually. These days, however, I blame the individuals too. If you arenâ€™t part of the solution, youâ€™re part of the problem. And lawyers are not working to make our lives better. If you are a practicing lawyer, and I ever meet you, know that in my core, I think youâ€™re a bad person. Youâ€™re a cockroach and I want to step on you and watch your guts ooze on the sidewalk under my shoe. Holding a law degree is shameful.