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Update on Private Proposition 65 Enforcement

by Aisha Keown-Lang

A larger than usual number of products, thirty-five in total, were targeted last week in Notices of Violation for Proposition 65 private enforcement, and for a wider variety of chemicals than usual. Other than the usual phthalates and lead/lead compounds, targeted chemicals included acrylamide, cadmium, bisphenol A (BPA), and diethanolamine. The largest class of targeted products this week was dietary supplements, with a total of eight targeted supplements.  Whereas for the last several years the Environmental Research Center (ERC) has been the most active private enforcer for dietary supplements, there appears to be a new enforcer in town, Safe Products for Californians, LLC, which issued most of the dietary supplement notices last week. One supplement, purportedly sold by Muscle Gauge Nutrition and whose noticing party was the Environmental Research Center, Inc., was targeted for alleged exposures to cadmium. A second product of a different variety was targeted for alleged exposures to cadmium — belts allegedly sold by Lulu’s Fashion Lounge were identified in a notice issued by the Center for Environmental Health.

Three food products were targeted this week, two of which allegedly were sold by Amplify Snack Brands, Inc. The identified food products, including Fried or Baked Potato or Sweet Potato Based Snack Foods and Fried or Baked Vegetable Chips, were targeted by the Center for Environmental Health for alleged exposures to acrylamide. Chemical Toxin Working Group targeted a third food product, Fresh Frozen Oyster Meat, for alleged exposures to cadmium.

Diethanolamine was targeted in five cosmetic/personal care products by private enforcer Shefa LMV, Inc. against multiple companies including Making Cosmetics, Inc., Ralphs Grocery Company, Inc., and more. The identified products ranged from hand wash to pain relieving cream.

One product, the Ateco Fluted Cutter Set, was targeted by Anthony Ferreiro against the August Thomsen Corp. and The Webstaurant Store Inc. for alleged exposures to BPA. The remainder of the targeted products this week were a variety of household items, such as bath mats and storage organizers.

This blog article was researched and written by Brown University Class of 2018 student Aisha Keown-Lang. Ms. Keown-Lang is studying biology and political science at Brown University with the goal of going into bioethics and public health. Her special interest in genetics stems from her research in the Li Lab at UCSF and the Gerbi Lab at Brown. After having worked with children in the Providence school system for nearly three years, her commitment to improving scientific literacy and expanding health services in underserved communities remains strong. Ms. Keown-Lang is currently a writer for Brown’s Science Cartoon Program (SciToons), which aims to communicate scientific research and ideas to a diverse audience.

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Ms. Grimaldi maintains a diverse environmental law practice focusing on chemical and product regulation and litigation defense. Her practice areas include Proposition 65, California's Safer Consumer Products Regulations, California's Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Act and the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. Ms. Grimaldi graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law magna cum laude and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bacteriology from University of California, Davis. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a research assistant in laboratories at the University of California, San Francisco Cancer Research Institute and at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.