California Prop 65 Notices Target Travel Goods Industry
There has been a sharp increase in "60-Day Notices" issued to the travel goods industry since the beginning of this year. As of March 26, there have been 32 "60-day" notices issued to about 130 manufacturers and retailers. 19 new notices were issued in March alone. (Please click here to view a full list of the Prop 65 notices to date). The documents serve notice that the issuer intends to file a lawsuit against the recipients alleging that the products sold in California contain certain chemicals in violation of a California law known as Proposition 65 (Prop 65). Proposition 65 is a California law that requires "warning labels" on ALL products (not just children's products) sold in California that contain lead, phthalates, cadmium and any one of 850 other chemicals that the State of California believes could cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. Prop 65 allows so-called "citizen enforcers" to enforce the law. NGOs, other groups and even private Californian citizens can sue in California courts and collect part of the fines. The notices issued cover products ranging across the travel goods industry. Lead and phthalates are the major chemicals targeted. Most of the notices were filed by either professional engineer Anthony E. Held or the Oakland, CA-based Center for Environmental Health (CEH). The CEH filed 10 notices so far on lead found travel goods such as handbags, wallets, tote bags, belts as well as footwear. Mr. Held filed 15 notices on phthalates in totes, backpacks, clothes and shoes. The CEH also issued three notices to manufacturers and retailers selling jewelry allegedly containing cadmium.