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newsrel -- Unilever parent company pays $1.3 million for air quality violations

Posted: 10 Feb 2010 11:06:38
ARB regulations have curbed emissions of ozone-forming volatile
organic compounds from consumer products by 44 percent, nearly
200 tons-per-day, since 1998. 

Release 10-11
February 10, 2010
Dimitri Stanich
916-716-8047 cell

Unilever parent company pays $1.3 million for air quality

SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board penalized
Unilever/Conopco $1.3 million last month for illegal consumer
products sales between 2006 and 2008.

Conopco, Unilever’s parent company, sold, supplied and offered
for sale in California more than 2.8 million units of deodorant
body spray that failed to meet clean air standards for aerosol

“Consumer products, because of their pervasive use, contribute a
growing portion of VOC emissions throughout California. 
Therefore, it’s important that every can and bottle of product be
compliant with ARB’s standards,” said ARB Enforcement Chief James
Ryden.  “The good news for California is that Unilever, after
being made aware of the violation, took the steps necessary to
correct the violation, mitigate the impacts, and ultimately
reduce the emissions from this product.”

The violations resulted in significant excess emissions from
volatile organic compounds. These emissions contribute to
ground-level ozone, or smog.  Exposure to ozone can cause lung
inflammation, impaired breathing, coughing, chest tightness,
shortness of breath and worsening of asthma symptoms.  Over 90
percent of Californians still breathe unhealthy air at some time
during the year. 

Conopco cooperated in the investigation and will make two equal
payments of $650,000 into the California Air Pollution Control
Fund for projects and research to improve California's air

The California Clean Air Act adopted in 1988 required ARB to
reduce VOC emissions from consumer products as a means to reach
health-based state and federal ambient air quality standards.
Deodorants, hair spray, cleaning products, spray paint, and
insecticides are examples of common consumer products that are
made with VOCs.  Since 1988 ARB regulations have curbed these
emissions by 44 percent, nearly 200 tons per day, and cut toxic
air contaminants by 13 tons per day.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California
Environmental Protection Agency.  ARB’s mission is to promote and
protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through
effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and
considering effects on the economy.  The ARB oversees all air
pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain
health based air quality standards.

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