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ARB fines 19 consumer products companies for air pollution violations

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The California Air resources Board (ARB) yesterday announced the settlement of 19 cases involving violations of air pollution regulations related to consumer products. Fines totaling $233,175 were issued to companies which either manufactured or sold products such as nail polish removers, bathroom cleaners, air fresheners, charcoal lighters, and automotive products.

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The violations resulted in the release of an excess of over 11 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOC). VOCs are one of the key components that react in the atmosphere to form photochemical smog. Bakersfield and the rest of the San Joaquin Valley suffer with some of the worst air quality in the nation because of smog formation.

Most of the total penalty was paid by just five companies: Bumble and bumble ($88,000), Wal-Mart ($34,000), Stoner ($16,500), Alterna ($12,850), and Adoro & Triple Image ($12,000).

The remaining $69,825 was split amongst the following: Dave X Labs, Lundmark Wax, Strength of Nature, PLZ, Aeroscience, Turtle Wax, Solo Fragrances, C&S Wholesale, K Hall Studio, Unelko, Permatex (ITW), Sullivan & Sprayway, Un-du Products, Sorbie Distributing, and Aquiesse.

The fines will be used by ARB in its California Air Pollution Control Fund to pay for air quality projects and research.

“Consumers unknowingly contribute to ozone formation when they purchase non-compliant items, which is why companies must sell products that adhere to ARB regulations that help protect air quality,” said ARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden.

Most consumers are unaware that the products they use on a daily basis may be contributing to smog formation. Not all of the VOC contribution to smog comes from factories, power plants, heavy industry, and motor vehicles, a fact that has resulted in laws that regulate the allowable amounts of VOCs in consumer products. For more information on these products and air pollution: ARB Consumer Products Program

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