Law firm Squire Patton Boggs reports that, as of 30 September 2017, California has required clear and reasonable warning on products, including coffee, containing furfuryl alcohol.
The law form said the notice is “intended to indicate that the chemical is known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.” The requirement is part of California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, or Prop 65, which requires products containing chemicals on the Prop 65 List to be labelled with warnings of exposures.
Furfuryl alcohol is a primary alcohol and is colourless or pale yellow in appearance. It is used in the manufacture of resins and as a wetting agent and solvent for coating resins, nitrocellulose, cellulose acetate, and other soluble dyes. Furfuryl alcohol is also commonly found in thermally processed foods such as coffee, fruit juices, baked goods, cask-stored alcoholic beverages, and flavouring agents.
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added furfuryl alcohol to the list of chemicals known to cause cancer in September 2016. Furfuryl alcohol was added to the list based on formal identification by the US Environmental Protection Agency that the chemical causes cancer.
The complete chemical list is available on the OEHHA website.