Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details).
For more than a decade, Raymond Ho has answered calls for California’s poison emergency hotline.
One that sticks out came from a panicked mom who feared that she and her child had just eaten a chemical that would give them cancer.
Was it arsenic? Mercury? Asbestos?
Hardly. It was “a very common seaweed snack,” said Ho, director of the California Poison Control System’s San Francisco Division.
The package had a warning in small print that the mother spotted just after snack time. It said the product could expose them to heavy metals known to cause cancer.
Welcome to the world of Proposition 65 warnings, which inspire terror, apathy or confusion among Californians.