American Consumer Products LLC Case Settles for $275,000

This page last reviewed August 10, 2010

During a routine investigation, CPES staff purchased several units of a toilet/urinal care product containing para-dichlorobenzene at a large discount retail chain manufactured by American Consumer Products LLC (ACP).  Subsequent investigations determined that ACP did not perform proper notification of sell-through for sales of para-containing urinal care products sold after June 30, 2006.  At least 116,000 units of banned 100 percent para-containing urinal care products were sold after June 30, 2006, and before December 31, 2006.  Subsequent purchases of ACP products that were imported from China resulted in additional violations, most notably the sale of over 222,000 units of methanol-containing hairspray between July 2005 and April 2007 that greatly exceeded the VOC limit of 55 percent for hairspray.  Since the hairspray products contained large quantities of methanol which was not listed as an ingredient on the label and is potentially both a poison and an inhalation hazard, the sales were reported to both the California Department of Public Health and the FDA.  The company also sold over 26,000 units of a different toilet/urinal care product that resulted in a VOC violation, and three lesser VOC violations resulting from the sales of over 25,000 units of hair gel, and over 10,000 units of hair mousse.  All told, between July 2004 and November 2007, ACP sold over 400,000 units of non-complying products in California.  In addition, ACP was subsequently found in 2009 to be selling over 12,000 containers of non-complying reed diffuser type air fresheners that were imported from China.  Due to the large number of cases, the inconsistent information provided by ACP and the magnitude of the excess emissions, the cases were referred by the Office of Legal Affairs to the Attorney General’s Office.  A civil complaint was filed in Los Angeles County in December 2009.  ACP and the State of California agreed to a $275,000 stipulated settlement ($25,000 payable immediately, and $50,000 in $10,000 installments over five months), with a $200,000 suspension following five years of compliance.  The settlement was filed by the County of Los Angeles State Superior Court on May 26, 2010.