So, Uh, This Bikini Comes with a Cancer Warning
Fashion Nova, the most-Googled brand of 2018 (and beloved by the likes of Kylie Jenner and Cardi B) has found itself in some hot water. The Fashion Law reports that Fashion Nova is getting heat on social media after someone posted photos of a cancer warning tag that the brand's swimsuits apparently come with.
The Twitter user had posted photos of the company's sold-out Water Sports Bikini, asking if anyone else had noticed this rather suspect label in Fashion Nova swimsuits.
The tag says that the swimwear can contain materials that "are known by the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive harm," which ... does not sound reassuring, in the least. But as some people pointed out in the replies to that tweet, this warning label happens to be on plenty of products in California, including coffee.
That's because of Proposition 65, a law that's been in place for over 30 years, which aims to help Californians make informed decisions about potentially exposing themselves to toxic ingredients in certain products. But it's not just L.A.-based Fashion Nova that complies with the law by using the labels — the warning can be found on other clothing brands like Nasty Gal (also based in L.A.), and has shown up on the sides of buildings and restaurants.
Essentially, if a product in California is made using any of the 800 chemicals that have been classified as possibly toxic, Prop 65 rules that it has to come with a warning label. But as the American Cancer Society notes, not all experts outside of California agree that these substances are known to cause cancer.
"This means that not every compound labeled as a possible cancer-causing substance has been proven to the worldwide scientific community to actually cause cancer," the ACS says.
Sam Delson, the Deputy Director for External and Legislative Affairs for the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, told Fashion Law that in most cases, the risk for cancer is "fairly low," and that the label is more about “educating people about what they are buying and incentivizing companies to make their products safer.”
So while plenty of companies have to attach those scary labels for legal reasons and to warn you of a risk, your bikini probably won't give you cancer. That being said, if you want to read up on the potentially toxic materials and take precautions, you can do so on the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) website.