Product Safety — New California Prop 65 Noitces Hit Travel Goods
Professional California Proposition 65 litigants Russel Brimer, Anthony E. Held and John Moore in recent weeks have separately issued five new "60-day" notices alleging that brands and retailers sold handbags, "zipper" bags, women's shoes, workout suits and belts in California that contained phthalates (4 notices) or lead (2 notices) in violation of 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. Over 100 travel goods and fashion accessories brands and retailers have been served "60-day" notices just since the beginning of 2009 alleging that products they have sold in California containing certain chemicals are in violation of a California law known as Proposition 65. (Please click here to view a full list of the Prop 65 notices to date). As a travel goods company, it would be practically impossible and prohibitively expensive to create a testing regimen to ensure that none of your products contain any one of these 850 chemicals. So, how can you comply? You can put warning labels on your products. TGA has worked closely with Prop 65 legal experts to develop a series of sample hangtags and labels that TGA members can use as the basis for labeling their products. For more information on Prop 65 warning labels and to access the samples, please go to TGA's website. For those of you in the travel accessories business, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) has developed "shoe box" label samples which may be more appropriate for your product. Finally, TGA has developed separate guidance for travel goods retail stores in California or those who sell travel goods through their own catalogs or their own websites.