Image source does not exist News Release: 2014-01-24 Cleaning products manufacturer and distributor fined $113,000 for air quality violations

Release #:14-05

ARB PIO: (916) 322-2990

Melanie Turner

Cleaning products manufacturer and distributor fined $113,000 for air quality violations

Carbon-Off! illegally contained toxic chemicals and exceeded content limits for VOCs

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board has fined Valley Park, Mo.-based GMI LLC $113,000 for selling Carbon-Off! products that contained a toxic air contaminant and exceeded state emissions limits for volatile organic compounds.

“ARB is vigilant about ensuring that products sold to consumers in California meet the standards for smog-causing chemicals,” said ARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden. “It is equally important that the consumer products do not contain toxic chemicals.”

GMI, which does business as Discovery Products, manufacturers, packages and distributes cleaning products to the food service industry worldwide.

An investigation by the ARB last year revealed that GMI violated a toxic air contaminant prohibition in the ARB’s consumer products regulation by selling oven cleaner products that contained methylene chloride. Products in the “Oven or Grill Cleaner” category are prohibited from containing methylene chloride and other toxic air contaminants.

The products also exceeded volatile organic compound content limits for both aerosol and non-aerosol products in the category. VOCs are regulated by the ARB because they react with other pollutants under sunlight to form ground-level ozone, a main ingredient in smog. Reducing VOC emissions from consumer products plays a significant part in ARB’s effort to reduce smog in California.

As a result of direct sales to consumers, the Carbon-Off! contributed approximately 5.5 tons of excess methylene chloride emissions and 0.6 tons of excess VOC emissions to California’s air over a 14-month period.

GMI, which purchased the brand in August 2011, initiated a recall of the products from its California retail customers, acquired sales information from downstream retailers and distributors and otherwise fully cooperated with ARB in this matter. The company agreed to pay $113,000 to settle the case, a penalty consistent with penalties that ARB has imposed in similar cases.

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.