You may have noticed the a new warning label included on Sergent Engineering products. This is driven by the State of California's Proposition 65 ruling. Rather than offer a political tirade on how misleading this warning may be, we will simply take this opportunity to give an honest account of why the warning is required on Sergent Engineering couplers in the first place.
California's Proposition 65 states that any product sold in the state of California that may contain any of about 600 different compounds must include a warning label as a means of communicating possible hazards associated with a product.
The familiar rust-brown color of Sergent Engineering couplers is achieved with an one of these compounds which is listed as a possible carcinogin. This compound is called hexavalent Chromium. Like many other compounds on the Proposition 65 list, hexavalent Chromium has seen common use in industry for many decades. Unfortunately, like many other compounds on the list, no good substitute has yet been identified. Used as intended, Sergent Engineering couplers pose no health risk. However, there are some activities that should be avoided. Hexavalent Chromium seems to be the most dangerous when inhaled. Its hard to inhale a coupler, but its might be easy to grind a little on the coupler with a motor tool. Use a hand file instead of a high speed grinder for such operations to prevent creation of dust. Also eating or using tobacco products after handling the couplers might not be a good idea either. Wash your hands first.
Sergent Engineering's uncoupling wand also has the California Proposition 65 label. The specific chemical makeup of the magnets used as the main component of this product are proprietary as supplied by the manufacturer and unknown to Sergent Engineering. Just to be on the safe side, we have included the warning on this product as well.
Sergent Engineering is a small company. As such, we are currently exempt from the Proposition 65 ruling. However, the last thing we want is to be involved in long expensive litagation proceedings involving the safety of our products. The warning label is a way to protect ourselves to some degree, so we can continue to provide a good product to our customers at a fair price.