Since then I've purchased a lot of Cortland tapered leaders and was surprised when I recently turned over a Cortland tapered leader package to find a sticker that read:
WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Where's the lead?
Lead and other harmful chemicals that cause cancer can be found in a lot of fishing products from weights, rods, reels, and lures. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the nation therefore warning labels like these are a cause for concern.
Before you put the product that you were going to purchase back or in your cart, you need to know about California's Prop 65.
What is Prop 65 from the OEHHA website:
- In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address their growing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative became the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known by its original name of Proposition 65.
- Proposition 65 requires the State to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. This list, which must be updated at least once a year, has grown to include approximately 800 chemicals since it was first published in 1987.
- 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.
- By providing this information, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about protecting themselves from exposure to these chemicals. Proposition 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water.
Whether or not you choose to purchase the product is entirely your decision. I personally feel that there are other things out there that are more dangerous to anglers than the products we use.
For example: harmful UV rays that many anglers don't protect themselves against, dangerous decisions like attempting to cross a river, and not wearing a PFD while boating. Don't let things like a warning label on a simple product like a fly leader get in the way of your fishing adventure.
Keep calm and fly fish.