SACRAMENTO - Housewares retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc. and perfume maker Scent Shop Inc. have paid a penalty of $138,000 for violating consumer products regulations that protect air quality, the California Air Resources Board announced today.
Pier 1 Imports and Scent Shop agreed to pay the penalty as part of a settlement to resolve allegations by the Air Resources Board that a liquid air freshener sold at Pier 1 retail outlets in California violated the state’s consumer products regulations.
The products — known as ‘reed diffusers’ — were manufactured by Scent Shop, a Garland, Texas-based company, and sold under the Pier 1 brand name between 2009 and 2011.
Testing revealed that the products exceeded an 18 percent by weight volatile organic compound (VOC) limit set under Air Resources Board regulations for liquid air fresheners. Such compounds are regulated by the Air Resources Board because they react with other pollutants under sunlight to form ground-level ozone, a key ingredient in smog.
“Many common household products, such as air fresheners and cosmetics, contain compounds that contribute to unhealthy smog. It’s important that retailers only stock and sell products that adhere to ARB regulations limiting the amount of these compounds,” said James Ryden, ARB’s Enforcement Division Chief.
In addition to the reed diffuser air fresheners manufactured by Scent Shop, other air fresheners and a fabric protectant manufactured abroad and imported by Pier 1 also were found to be out of compliance with air quality regulations. The imported products were also sold under the Pier 1 brand name.
In all, the Air Resources Board estimated that direct sales of the non-compliant products to consumers in California by Pier 1 resulted in 7 tons of excess emissions of the smog-forming compounds.
As part of the settlement, Pier 1 agreed it would not sell, supply or offer for sale for use in California any consumer product in violation of the state’s consumer products regulations as part of an effort to reduce air pollution and smog.
Consumer products — chemically formulated products such as detergents, garden products and cosmetics — are a significant source of VOCs. ARB investigators regularly purchase samples of regulated consumer products from stores across the state. They then inspect them for compliance with registration and dating requirements and send the products to the laboratory for testing.
CARB is the lead agency in California for cleaning up the air and fighting climate change to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards. Its mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through the effective reduction of air and climate pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.