Held v. Barron’s Educational Series, Inc.

Posted: 01/30/2015  browse the case archive

On January 30, 2015, the parties executed an out-of-court Settlement Agreement, which resolved the allegations that whistleblower Anthony E. Held, Ph.D, P.E., made against settling party Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. (“Barron’s”).  In this matter, Held alleged that Barron’s sold books with vinyl/PVC covers containing the phthalate chemical di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”) in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.

As part of the settlement, Barron’s agreed not to sell any books with vinyl/PVC covers in California after March 6, 2015, unless the covers contain less than 1,000 parts per million of DEHP in any accessible component when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies.  Should Barron’s provide written certification by February 15, 2015, that all books with vinyl/PVC covers qualify as reformulated, Held agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied. 

The Settlement Agreement requires settlement payments of $35,500, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to citizen enforcer Held and his counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.  

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