Unilever/Conopco Case Settles for $1,300,000

This page last reviewed July 12, 2010

On January 26, 2010, a case was settled with Unilever/Conopco for selling into California 2,843,205 units of non-compliant Axe Deodorant Body Spray that exceeded the zero percent by weight high volatility organic compound (HVOC) limits in the Antiperspirants and Deodorants regulation, Title17, California Code of Regulations (CCR) Section 94502(a)).  The label used on the container represented that the product was suitable for use on the underarms.  The Antiperspirants and Deodorants regulation was modified in 2004 to clarify that all deodorant products used on the underarm could not contain HVOCs, which are hydrocarbon propellants.  This clarification was adopted as a result of the initial introduction of Axe Deodorant Body Sprays into the marketplace.  Unilever/Conopco asserted that the violations resulted from an inadvertent labeling error without any intent to avoid ARB’s regulations.  The product was sold from 2006 through 2008 which resulted in significant excess HVOC emissions.  After Unilever/Conopco was made aware of the violation, it took steps to correct the violation, mitigate the impacts, and ultimately reduce the emissions from this product.  Unilever/Conopco agreed to pay a settlement of $1,300,000 to settle the case.