Consider the ScubaPro MK2 EVO/R195 Dive regulator. When trying to purchase this $507 regulator, you may find the following warning: Warning: This product can expose you to chemicals including Lead and Lead Compounds. However, the ScubaPro MK25T EVO/S620 X-TI DIVE REGULATOR, which is currently going for $2,785, does not have any California prop 65 warning attached to the webpage. You may search for "Warning" on the first regulator to find a cancerous/reproductive harm warning, but you may see there is no such warning for the more expensive regulator.

That being said, you may also take a look at the OASIS PRO REGULATOR, which is only $547, but containing no lead/chromium/toxicicity warnings at all. In fact, almost all of the SCUBAPRO regulators have this cancer warning for their regulator products, except for their most expensive model.

From what I've read online, it seems the reason for using lead/chromium/toxic chemicals in the process of manufacture is to save money, speed up the process, etc. However, if it is possible to create a regulator without any toxic processes, i.e. the Oasis pro, for $547, why would similarly priced regulators going for over $1,000+ also be manufactured with chemicals that could potentially cause cancer or reproductive harm? When you could make a regulator that doesn't require lead or other toxic chemicals that must be warned in the process for cheaper? Clearly the OASIS PRO serves as an example, or the toxicity is better hidden from the end user, which I would like to clarify as part of the answer to this question.

My question is two-fold:

  • First, is it true that the MK2 EVO R195 does not use any lead in the manufacture, or any other chemicals or processes that would require a California prop 65 warning? Or is it that because it is a more expensive model they just decide not to show you the warning in hopes that you might be buying from a state other than California, even though it would require the toxicity warning if you were buying it from California?

  • Second, what benefit would using toxic or cancer causing materials actually bring? It doesn't make it cheaper, since the Oasis Pro doesn't appear to be made using any toxic or cancer causing materials, from what I can see on their website it does not show any warning. However more expensive regulators DO have the cancer warning, which doesn't make sense to me. What benefit would there be of paying MORE for a regulator than the oasis pro if that regulator that costs more uses toxic or cancer causing chemicals in the production process and can't guarantee that the regulator won't cause you reproductive harm or give you cancer? Meanwhile the oasis pro doesn't appear to have that warning and so you can use the oasis pro without risking any exposure to lead, or any of the other chemicals listed on the California prop 65?

I'm trying to understand what exactly makes a regulator into a reproductive harm or cancer risk. Clearly there are "cheap" options ($500 USD) that do not have the cancer warning. There are expensive regulators ($1000+ USD) that DO have the cancer warning. Should the cancer warning actually be on the oasis pro possibly, so that ANY regulator on the market would have these cancer and reproductive risks, but you just aren't given that information when shopping for it even though the risk is still there? Or is it that using leaded materials provides some kind of tangible gain, so long you don't mind paying MORE for it, and so long you don't mind risking potential cancer or reproductive issues? I'm very confused about this, as I'm seeing multiple sources of conflicting information on it online.

Thank you in advanced for your answer.

  • 3
    The California Prop 65 label is attached to all sorts of things that will cause you no harm whatsoever. However, to be specific, choosing one material joining technique over another (solder vs braze vs weld) will impact what specifics materials would be used.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented May 28 at 19:31
  • 3
    Frankly, the main hazards with a diving regulator are, well scuba diving. Same thing with ice axes, carabiners, and whatnot. You need to worry about major threats to your health, not infinitesimal threats.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented May 28 at 20:05
  • 1
    @JonCuster I'm not sure I follow your point. Ice axes from what I've seen are made of a light alloy of steel and plastic, neither of which could cause any harm from the materials alone. In that case the risk of using the ice axe is only in its use. However, with a regulator that would be supplying all of your breaths for an extended period of time, I am more cautious to differentiate between products made cheaply (for example using lead to speed up the production process) and products made with whatever process is necessary (no matter how much more costly) to get it done in the proper way.
    – Snared
    Commented May 28 at 20:14
  • 2
    @Snared I think you are creating a strawman argument. Prop65 is required to list (in the state of California) objects containing any one or more of the ~900 substances on the list. Many companies simply add the tag to anything that might contain them, simply because it is easier and cheaper than actually doing the tests. The lifetime risk of lead from a tiny amount of solder in a mask worn for a hour or two over a week will be less than the amount of lead you absorb through your skin handling the diving weights. If it were a problem you would find papers on...
    – bob1
    Commented May 29 at 10:31
  • 2
    ...the topic, yet Pubmed contains none, but does contain about 2000 for decompression illness, and 400 for nitrogen narcosis. The risks of diving are significant, but lead ingestion isn't one of those risks! @Snared
    – bob1
    Commented May 29 at 10:37


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