Chinese Manufacturers Must Reformulate Thousands of Products Sold In California Under New Court Settlement Negotiated by Chanler Group

Posted: 11/08/2013  browse the blog archive

BERKELEY, Calif. – November 8, 2013 California consumers will receive new protections against toxic materials routinely used by Chinese manufacturers in everyday goods thanks to a settlement reached yesterday in Santa Clara County Superior Court, according to an attorney who negotiated the agreement.   

The agreement, approved by Judge James Stoelker, requires DAP Inc., a large Chinese manufacturer, to reformulate consumer products to comply with California’s Proposition 65 right-to-know toxics law.

DAP Inc. manufactures millions of handle grips used on hand tools and tape measures that are sold throughout the United States by TARGET Stores. Those products were found to include the reproductive toxicant di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), which is regulated under Proposition 65.  The manufacturer has now agreed to remove the hazardous chemical.

“If Chinese companies sell products in the United States, they must abide by our consumer protection laws,” said Cliff Chanler, the attorney who negotiated the agreement. “Californians have the right to know whether or not they are buying products containing chemicals that cause developmental harm to their children.”

Last month the Chanler Group became the first law firm to successfully use an American federal or state law as a basis for international prosecution of a Chinese company -- Hangzhou GreatStar Tool Co., Ltd. -- to attain a toxic product reformulation.  Hangzhou GreatStar distributes their products through LOWE’S.

The agreements require the Chinese companies to reformulate every product at issue to eliminate DEHP and to pay civil penalties totaling as much as $65,000, 75 percent of which will go to the State of California to protect and enhance public health and the environment.

Chanler says he expects that additional Chinese manufacturers will be held accountable for the safety of products sold to American consumers, indicating that yet another toxic materials settlement will be reached shortly.

Details of the Hangzhou GreatStar and DAP settlements, as well as the executed agreements, are available at Chanler is available to discuss these cases, as well as the broader issues of hazardous materials in foreign-made products sold in the U.S.  He can be reached at (203) 312-4484 or at