California proposition 65 and rice cookers
September 22, 2020 7:22 AM   Subscribe

My fancy new Cuckoo rice cooker has a prop 65 warning on the box for DEHP. My other buying option was a Zojirushi cooker, so my question is if anyone has bought a Zojirushi lately and noticed a prop 65 warning. If all current rice cookers carry the warning (and since the operating temps aren’t that high) I'll likely keep it. I'm not asking about the warning itself because I think it would just generate chatter.

Asking Cuckoo Canada which component would contain DEHP, their response was limited to “that's only for California”. I would guess it’s the non-stick coating or the pressure gasket. The Zojirushi site states that the battery in their machines is prop 65 compliant but don’t see any other mentions.

I've looked at some rice cooker options with ceramic pots but I'm a klutz and worry about their fragility.
posted by bonobothegreat to Shopping (10 answers total)
The prop 65 warning is on everything. I think the only time it's not there is when a company has specific packaging for a non-California markets. It's extremely unlikely that any actual component is changed. If anything, it would be in the reverse direction, where they might remove a component for California to avoid having to label. But in practice the warning is so overbroad that you can't make anything without having to warn.
posted by wnissen at 7:34 AM on September 22 [5 favorites]

The instant pot is good on stuff like that and can make rice, might be one option to look more into.
posted by slidell at 7:34 AM on September 22

This amazon question seems to indicate at least one Zojirushi rice cooker has the warning recently.
posted by umwhat at 7:45 AM on September 22

Thanks umwhat. That Zojirushi model was my feature comparable alternate.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:13 AM on September 22

my guess it the warning is for the outer shell of the rice cooker rather than the food contact surfaces.
posted by Dr. Twist at 10:40 AM on September 22

DEHP is a component of PVC. Look for a flexible plastic part. Not Teflon, probably not rubber. I'd guess the power cord or something like that, or possibly an internal component.

If it were in a food contact surface, prolonged contact with food might be bad for you but would especially be bad for the component that used it as it leached out over time, causing the flexible part to become stiffer.

Is that it? Nothing else? Pretty good if there's only one chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:30 AM on September 22

Likely the power cord. I bought an electric water distiller with two electrical cords; same warning.
posted by tilde at 12:59 PM on September 22

Ok, thanks. If it's not specific to that company/model I’ll keep it and tell myself it's the cord. Yeah, the cord.

I'm in my late 50's, so I've probably ingested a heap of micro-particles and leached plasticizers at this point and the Japanese specialty foods I picked up today have been sitting in plastic vacuum bags for months...but on the other hand, brain cancer seems to run in the family, so who the fuck really knows?
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:16 PM on September 22

It's often impossible to know what the part is. Christmas lights have the warning label, and they almost universally are manufactured with lead. But in California we also have the warning on regular wood boards, because when you sand wood, it releases dust and dust is, in fact, carcinogenic (cf black lung disease, silicosis). Or french fries, because fried foods also contain a carcinogen. Since the law doesn't say that you have to break out the components, the consumer is left with a warning of unknown seriousness. PVC is a pretty nasty and widely used plastic, it's certainly possible that there is a risk of exposure. But I wouldn't make any conclusion based on the packaging. All things being equal I would favor equipment manufactured or at least designed in places that have strict consumer safety laws, like Japan or the EU.
posted by wnissen at 1:01 PM on September 23

In CA, there are prop 65 warnings on any place that sells baked goods or coffee (since both contain small amounts of Acrylamide from the process of roasting/toasting). Unfortunately it really has gotten to the point where the warnings are in my opinion completely useless for avoiding risks. e.g. my mailbox, my parking gargage, every gas station, every airport all have the warning, with no indicators or what is relatively more/less risky. There is no way to live a life that avoids things "known by the state of CA to cause cancer or reproductive harm".
posted by vegetableagony at 6:37 AM on September 26

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