Held v. SAS Safety Corporation

Posted: 09/17/2015  browse the case archive

The parties involved in the case Held v. SAS Safety Corporation executed a Consent Judgment on September 17, 2015.  In this matter, citizen enforcer Anthony E. Held, Ph.D., P.E. alleged that SAS Safety Corporation (“SAS”) sold hearing protection with vinyl/PVC ear cushions and vinyl/PVC aprons 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 agreement, SAS agreed not to sell any hearing protection with vinyl/PVC ear cushions or vinyl/PVC aprons in California after the Alameda County Superior Court approves the Judgment, unless the hearing protection or aprons contain no more than 1,000 parts per million of DEHP, di-n-butyl phthalate (“DBP”), butyl benzyl phthalate (“BBP”), and diisononyl phthalate (“DINP”) when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies.  SAS has also agreed to provide the above reformulation standards to their vendors and instruct them to comply expeditiously.  Products that do not comply with the above standards shall be sold with Proposition 65 warnings provided.  Should SAS provide written certification that all hearing protection with vinyl/PVC ear cushions and vinyl/PVC aprons sold in California qualify as reformulated by September 17, 2016, Held agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied.

The Consent Judgment required settlement payments of $55,000, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to whistleblower Held and his counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.   

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