California PROP 65 Notices Now Targeting Phthalates in Travel Goods and Other Consumer Products
Professional engineer Anthony E. Held and Russell Brimer, a private California citizen, separately filed dozens of so-called “60-Day Notices” on February 12 notifying brands and retailers that they intend to bring lawsuits against them for allegedly selling backpacks, tote bags, handbags, wallets and other consumer products in California containing DEHP, a type of phthalate, in violation of California Proposition 65 (Prop 65). These notices represent the first ever Prop 65 cases against travel goods over phthalates. Phthalates are used as a plasticizer to soften plastics. These cases come on the heels of a number of Prop 65 cases filed against dozens of travel goods brands and retailers over lead. In fact, Brimer also filed new notices February 12 against alleging that luggage tags (Notice 1 and Notice 2) and handbags (Notice 1 and Notice 2) containing lead were sold in California 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 any fine awarded.