Read TDLLP%20Advisory-%20California%20Proposition%2065%20Settlements-Lead%20in%20Fashion%20Accessories.pdf text version

TOMPKINS & DAVIDSON,

5 Hanover Square 15th Floor New York, N.Y. 10004

LLP

Phone: (212) 944-6611 Fax: (212) 944-9779 e-mail:[email protected] internet: http://www.tdllp.com

Counselors At Law

July 16, 2010 To Clients and Friends: RE: California Proposition 65 Settlement Agreements- Lead in Fashion Accessories

On June 1, 2010, the Superior Court of the State of California, Alameda County , entered a consent judgment between the Center for Environmental Health ("CEH") and multiple retailers and suppliers with respect to the lead content of fashion accessories sold in the state of California. California Proposition 65 requires warning labels to be placed on products that contain lead at levels known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm; the state has utilized exposure level measurements rather than content levels as the measuring rod. In the CEH settlement, the settling retailers and suppliers agreed that as of dates certain, fashion accessories that they sell in the State of California will contain certain maximum lead levels in accessible components, (a) paints and surface coatings, (b) leather and composition leather, (c) polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and (d) metals and other components of those products. The consent judgments contain separate compliance dates for (1) handbags, purses, clutches and wallets, and (2) belts and footwear. For example, the agreements provide that lead levels in paints and surface coatings of handbags, purses, clutches and wallets will not exceed 90 parts per million as of December 1, 2010, while lead levels in paints and surface coatings of belts and footwear must meet the 90 PPM level by December 1, 2011. Different maximum levels and implementation dates were reached with respect to lead levels for leather, PVC, and metal and other components. The Consent Judgment approved by the court provides that companies supplying fashion accessories to or in California may choose to opt in to the settlements so as to avoid potential separate legal action brought by the State of California and/or Center for Environmental Health or other environmental groups for failure to warn, unless the company has already received a notice of violation with respect to its products. Importers and manufacturers should consult with their counsel concerning whether that option is attractive for them. The opt-in deadline has been set as July 26, but is reportedly being extended to August 11, 2010. . Information on the settlement agreement and opt-in agreements can be found at the web site of the attorneys for CEH, http://www.lexlawgroup.com, click on "Settlement Documents", then " Lead in Handbags, Belts, and Footwear". Should you require additional information on this issue, please contact us.

Firm Contacts: Robert Stack ([email protected]); Louis Shoichet ([email protected]); Barbara Wierbicki ([email protected] );

Note: The above comments are intended for general information only, and not as legal advice. Legal advice can only be offered after a review of a client's specific facts and circumstances, which may affect the applicability of any general comments contained herein.

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