Three companies pay $1.4 million for violating air quality rules for cleaning products
SACRAMENTO – Three companies paid $1,436,252 to the California Air Resources Board for failing to comply with the state’s consumer products clean air regulations.
The companies are Kraft Heinz Foods Co. of Chicago, Ill., Mothers Polishes, Waxes, Cleaners Inc. of Huntington Beach, and CRC Industries Inc. of Horsham Township, Pa. All three were selling cleaning products in California that violated air quality regulations.
“Many common household products, such as cleaners and metal polishes, contain compounds that contribute to unhealthy smog. It’s important that retailers only stock and sell products that adhere to CARB regulations limiting the amount of these compounds,” CARB Enforcement Division Chief Todd Sax said.
The violations were all discovered during routine inspections by CARB. Enforcement staff regularly purchase samples of cleaning and other consumer products from retail shelves and test them in the CARB lab to determine if the products comply with air quality regulations.
Neither Kraft Heinz Foods, nor Mothers Polishes, has a history of past violations and CRC is considered a “good actor,” going above and beyond with corrective actions.
A toxic compound was found in the CRC products case, while the Kraft Heinz Foods and Mothers Polishes tests showed concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) exceeding the allowed limit for the product. VOCs combine with nitrogen oxide in sunlight to form smog.
Kraft Heinz Foods
Kraft Heinz Foods manufactured and distributed a general purpose cleaner sold as 'All Natural Cleaning Vinegar' that was not compliant with the volatile organic compound limit for that product, resulting in 75.2 tons of excess VOC emissions. The company paid $700,000 in penalties: $350,000 to the Air Pollution Control Fund for projects and research to improve air quality, and $350,000 to the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District to fund a Marine Vessel Speed Reduction Incentive Program. That program provides incentives to shipping companies to reduce ship speeds through the Channel Island region in order to reduce NOx and other air pollutants.
Three products sold or supplied by Mothers — Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish, Mothers Billet Metal Polish and Mothers California Gold Metal Polish — caused 10.35 tons of excess VOC emissions. Mothers paid $111,242 in total: $56,252 to the state’s Air Pollution Control Fund and $55,000 to fund interns who host hands-on science activities for community members visiting the California Science Center Foundation. Those activities raise public awareness about risks associated with high carbon emissions generated by human activities.
CRC Industries sold, supplied and offered for sale in California two electrical parts cleaning products – CRC Lecta-Clean and CRC Lecta-Motive — which contained perchloroethylene, a toxic air contaminant prohibited for this category of product in California. Air toxics are pollutants that cause or may cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as birth defects. CRC paid $625,000 in penalties: $325,528 to the state’s Air Pollution Control Fund and $299,472 to El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center in Eastern Coachella Valley to fund outreach on respiratory health to local communities that targets low-income families and families with children. CRC modified the Lectra-Clean product to conform to the state’s regulation and agreed not to sell Lectra-Motive in California.