California Proposition 65
Q: Why is there a warning on the box for my HTC device that the product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm?
A: This warning is provided pursuant to a California law known as Proposition 65. Under Proposition 65, California maintains a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Any company whose product contains one or more of the roughly 800 Proposition 65 listed chemicals must provide a notice to California consumers unless it can prove that any exposure is below a scientifically-established level.
Q: Does this mean my HTC device is not safe to use?
A: The current Proposition 65 list includes over 800 chemicals, including chemicals used in many foods, dyes, and household items, and the notice requirements can apply even if a product uses very small quantities of a listed chemical. California has acknowledged that "[t]he fact that a product bears a Proposition 65 warning does not by itself mean that the product is unsafe." See Proposition 65 in Plain Language!(ca.gov)
Proposition 65 requires companies to provide a consumer notice for exposures to listed chemicals unless the company can prove that exposure levels are 1000 times less than a scientifically-established safe level. While the exposure level of Prop 65-listed chemicals from the use of HTC's products may be well below the level of no observable effect, proving that exposure is 1000 times less than this threshold can be difficult and costly on a per product basis. Consequently, HTC has, out of an abundance of caution, opted to provide the Proposition 65 consumer notice. HTC and its sourcing partners monitor and test our products to ensure customer safety and satisfaction, and our commitment is to continuously strive to improve our products in all aspects.