The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) has notified 42 companies that it intends to file lawsuits against them for reportedly failing to warn about high levels of bisphenol A (BPA) in women's and children's socks made of polyester with spandex, as required by California's Proposition 65 laws & regulations

CEH's next attempt (Announced on 1st September 2021) is to use Prop 65's private enforcement (NGO’s) mechanism to force companies to reduce hazardous substances in a variety of consumer products.

CEH has already taken similar legal action against companies for failing to warn about hexavalent chromium in tanned leather items and nitrosamines in exercise bands this year. CEH's legal actions have already helped to remove "lead from sweets and children's products, flame retardants from furniture and nap mats according to their director.  

Now CEH wants to achieve the same by removing BPA (Bisphenol A) from socks since Prop 65 classifies BPA as a reproductive and developmental toxin. Therefore, Businesses are required to issue a "clear and reasonable" warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing consumers to any of the listed Prop 65 chemicals.  

First violation notices for BPA in socks

According to California Attorney General's database (Prop 65 files), more than 250 Prop 65 violation notices involving BPA have been filed in the last five years. However, this is the first notice involving a failure to warn about the presence of BPA in socks.

CEH’s extensive testing found exposure to BPA from certain brands of baby, children's, and women's socks was three times higher than the "safe harbor level" below which warning is not required but with one brand exceeding the threshold by 19 times. However, they suggested that the material may be added in the production of polyester to increase the fabric's durability and lifespan.

CEH has sent 60-day notices of violation to more than 40 companies threatening to file citizen enforcement lawsuits cases for Prop 65 violations unless companies agreed to issue Prop 65 warning labels in the future & to recall already-sold products and pay "An appropriate civil penalty". It provides 60 days to the companies for responding to the CEH’s claims before the NGOs can proceed with any legal action.


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