According to Music Trades:
GUITAR STRING MANUFACTURERS ARE UP IN ARMS over a legal complaint filed in California that claims that every type of metal instrument string poses a dire health risk and could cause cancer to players. The 21 string companies named dismiss the complaint as frivolous and without merit, and have agreed to fight it.Uh oh... I've been playing a wire strung harp for many years.
How a product as innocuous as a guitar string came be viewed as a serious public danger dates back to 1986. That year, the voters of California passed Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement act, which made it a crime to knowingly use or discharge any chemicals the State deemed either toxic or carcinogenic. Each year, the Governor's office issues a list of dangerous chemicals. Companies have a 20-month period from the time a new chemical is added to the list to either find an alternative, place a consumer warning on the product, or face stiff fines or even imprisonment.
Officials with the California Health and Safety Code and state and municipal legal officers get to review the complaint for a 60-day period. If they decide against pursuing it, Hall is free to file a civil suit against the string makers. Penalties for violating Proposition 65 are potentially large. The bill imposes a $2,500 daily fine for every violation. If guitar string manufacturer were found guilty, they could conceivably be hit with a $20 million fine.