Proposition 65 Settlements Up By $9.5 Million in 2018

Proposition 65 Settlements Up By $9.5 Million in 2018

California Proposition 65 was enforced to a tune of $35 million in 2018, $9 million more than in 2017. Companies that sell products into California are growing wary.

Enforcement of Proposition 65 increases every year, both because of an expanding list of hazardous substances and old cases that are finally reaching settlements. This year, litigators won almost $10 million more in damages than last year from companies in violation of the act.

In 2018, there were 829 enforcement cases resulting in approximately $35.1 million in damages, as opposed to 688 cases resulting in $25.7 million in 2017.

Many of these companies were also forced to recall their products. When you consider that a recall costs companies an average of $10 million per product, you get a better sense of the damage.


Learn more about Proposition 65 and your company’s requirements in our whitepaper, Proposition 65: Understanding the Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Enforcement Act.


A suit against Pilot Automotive accounts for $1.5 million of those totals. The filing was originally made in 2013. It identified products such as imitation leather, vinyl, PVC steering wheel covers and steering wheels that contain phthalates (bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate [DEHP] and/or diisononyl phthalate [DINP] in particular). It also references pilot dashcams, gear knobs and a posable LED light containing lead above the safe harbour level.

Kroger Co. and other food production companies were hit with a $520,000 “Failure to Warn” penalty, and must reformulate certain seaweed products to contain less than 75 parts per billion (ppb) of lead, 95 ppb of cadmium and 15 ppb of arsenic. Any covered products still existing in their inventory as of the effective date will need to be affixed with a Proposition 65 compliant warning.

Nine chocolate companies, including Hershey, Lindt & Sprungli, Mars, and Mondelez settled a case that has been ongoing since 2014 regarding lead and cadmium found in their products. The settlement is notable because it acknowledges that the substances are naturally-occurring, and sets a precedent for litigating companies that don’t take steps to evaluate substance concentrations in raw food materials.


The Assent Compliance Platform can help you collect substance data for compliance with Proposition 65. Learn more here.


Other key settlements include Hain Celestial (acrylamide, $587,500), Iovate Health (lead and lead compounds, $625,000) and McLane Company (bisphenol A, $429,820).

Companies can avoid fines, negative media attention, legal fees and the cost of product recall by acquiring data on any substances regulated by Proposition 65. In order to do so cost-effectively, many companies are choosing supply chain data management solutions to automate workflows, validate data and provide suppliers with an easy-to-use portal through which they can submit data.

Assent Compliance’s Product Compliance Suite can help you collect data from your suppliers and cross-reference it with new additions to the Proposition 65 chemical list.

To learn more about how Assent Compliance help you acquire substance data for compliance with any legislation that regulates product composition, email info@assentcompliance.com.

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