Release 08-44
May 20, 2008

    Dimitri Stanich
(916) 322-2990

 Ohio chemical company fined for the sale of non-compliant products in California
Products contributed to state ozone problem

SACRAMENTO: Earlier this month the California Air Resources Board fined Ohio-based Blaster Chemical Company $158,000 for selling illegal rust-removing spray around the state.

ARB investigators found that between 2003 and 2006, 237,000 cans of Blaster Chemical's "Fabulous Blaster Penetrating Catalyst," used to dislodge rusted metal parts, was illegally distributed and sold at multiple retailers throughout California. The products contained illegal amounts of volatile organic compounds which ARB strictly regulates through its consumer products program.

"Reducing VOC emissions from consumer products is an integral part of California's effort to reduce smog," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "Companies that violate the law will be cited."

The ARB's consumer products program is part of an overall effort to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds which contribute to smog. VOCs are in many commercially-available products used in households, businesses and industries. Under the energy of the sun, VOCs form ground-level ozone.

Ground level ozone, or smog, has harmful effects on the body including, lung inflammation and tissue damage, impaired lung functioning, coughing, chest tightness, and the worsening of asthma symptoms. Those at greatest risk are the elderly and children, and those who spend greater amounts of time outdoors during smoggy periods.

Statewide peak ozone averages have been reduced by 50 percent since 1986, however, California's population growth requires continued emission reductions to meet federal clean air standards.

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.