The Vision Council Warns Members of Pending Legal Action on California Environmental Regulation

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.— The Vision Council notified its members last week that an organization known as the Consumer Advocacy Group, Inc., has served notice on the California Attorney General's office, several mass retailers in California, and distributors of sunglasses and reading glasses of its intent to take legal action against those retailers and distributors for violations of California's Proposition 65. The retailers and distributors were not named.

Proposition 65, which is known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, sets out environmental regulations regarding toxic chemical substances that businesses are subject to when they sell merchandise in California.

Rich Van Arnam, regulatory affairs counsel for The Vision Council, issued a memorandum to group members advising them that a banned substance known as phthalate di, or 2-ethylhexyl, which goes by the acronym “DEHP”, is alleged to be present in sunglasses and reading glasses sold by the retailers and distributors. According to the memo, Consumer Advocacy has served notices alleging that exposure to DEHP can cause cancer and reproductive toxicity, especially in males.

Van Arnam advised Vision Council members doing business in California that they should confirm that their quality and control testing procedures include testing for DEHP. He warned them that products containing DEHP intended for sale in California might be subject to “potential Prop 65 enforcement,” and to consider steps to minimize their risks.

Questions about Proposition 65 can be forwarded to Van Arnam at rvanarnam@barnesrichardson.com, or to Jason McElvaney, The Vision Council’s government & regulatory affairs liaison, at Jason@mcelvaneypublicaffairs.com.