A company that sells pencils and other office supplies has entered a consent judgment with an environmental health organization that claimed the company violated a California law requiring warnings for products posing a cancer or reproductive risk (Prop. 65). Ctr. for Envtl. Health v. Staples, Inc., No. 09-493397 (Cal. Super. Ct., judgment entered March 8, 2011). Without admitting liability, the company agreed to comply with federal lead-content limits that are currently set at 0.03 percent lead by weight (300 parts per million (ppm)) and will be reduced to 0.01 percent lead by weight (100 ppm) on August 14, 2011. If the Consumer Product Safety Commission determines “that it is not technically feasible for manufacturers of [pencils] to meet a 100 ppm limit,” the company agreed to comply with the 300 ppm standard.
The agreement also requires supplier specifications and testing, and indicates that the environmental health organization intends to conduct periodic product testing. The company agreed to make a $55,000 settlement payment, most of which will be paid to the organization for its attorney’s fees and costs. The agreement does not require the company to provide Prop. 65 warnings to consumers.