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April 2024 Bounty Hunter Plaintiff Claims
Friday, May 17, 2024

California’s Proposition 65 (“Prop. 65”), the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, requires, among other things, sellers of products to provide a “clear and reasonable warning” if use of the product results in a knowing and intentional exposure to one of more than 900 different chemicals “known to the State of California” to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, which are included on The Proposition 65 List. For additional background information, see the Special Focus article, California's Proposition 65: A Regulatory Conundrum.

Because Prop. 65 permits enforcement of the law by private individuals (the so-called bounty hunter provision), this section of the statute has long been a source of significant claims and litigation in California. It has also gone a long way in helping to create a plaintiff’s bar that specializes in such lawsuits. This is because the statute allows recovery of attorney’s fees, in addition to the imposition of civil penalties as high as $2,500 per day per violation. Thus, the costs of litigation, and settlement, can be substantial.

The purpose of Keller and Heckman’s latest publication, Prop 65 Pulse, is to provide our readers with an idea of the ongoing trends in bounty hunter activity. 

In April of 2024, product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers were the targets of 351 new Notices of Violation (“Notices”) and amended Notices, alleging a violation of Prop. 65 for failure to provide a warning for their products. This was based on the alleged presence of the following chemicals in these products. Noteworthy trends and categories from Notices sent in April 2024 are excerpted and discussed below. A complete list of Notices sent in April 2024 can be found on the California Attorney General’s website, located here: 60-Day Notice Search.

Food and Drug    
Product Category Notice(s) Alleged Chemicals
Dietary Supplements: Notices include protein powder, ashwagandha powder, collagen powder, chlorella, plant protein powders, moringa powder, Irish sea moss, barley grass powder, and garcinia extract 39 Notices Mercury and Mercury Compounds, Lead and Lead Compounds, and Cadmium, Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)
Seafood: Notices include sardines and sardine paste, dried herring, anchovies, mackerel, shellfish, octopus, and seaweed 28 Notices Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds, Lead and Lead Compounds
Noodles, Pasta, and Rice: Notices include edamame spaghetti, charcoal noodles, udon noodles, and brown rice vermicelli 6 Notices Lead
Fruits and Vegetables: Notices include dried mushrooms, dried apricots, dried ginger, dried mango, papaya spears, and spinach 17 Notices Lead and Lead Compounds, Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds
Spices and Sauces: Notices include turmeric powder, tapenade, and za’atar 4 Notices Lead and Lead Compounds
Assorted Prepared Food and Snacks: Notices include granola, chips, jerky, vegan quiche, tortillas, and sunflower seeds 32 Notices Lead and Lead Compounds, Cadmium, and Cadmium Compounds
Nicotine Pouches 2 Notices Nicotine
Cosmetics and Personal Care    
Product Category Notice(s) Alleged Chemicals
Powdered Cosmetics: Notices include blush powder, and eyeshadow palettes 18 Notices Titanium Dioxide (airborne, unbound particles of respirable size)
Other Personal Care Items: Notices include rolling massagers and lip balm and hand lotion set with reusable case 3 Notices Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)
Other Cosmetics: Notices include mascara, shampoo, lotions and moisturizers, hair gel, lip balm, and shave cream 44 Notices

Coconut oil diethanolamine condensate (cocamide diethanolamine) and


Consumer Products    
Product Category Notice(s) Alleged Chemicals
Cookware: Notices include kitchen scissors, measuring spoons, and cheese knives 7 Notices Lead and Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)
Leather Goods: Notices include gloves, shoes, and wallets 3 Notices Chromium (hexavalent compounds)
Clothing and Shoes: Notices include sandals, hoodies, coats, and lockets 12 Notices

Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP),

Diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP)

Plastic Pouches, Bags, and Accessories: Notices include backpacks, bags, purses, cases, travel pouches, and lunch bags 26 Notices

Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), Diisononyl phthalate (DINP), and

Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP)

Glassware and Ceramics: Notices include mugs, teapots, glassware trays, and dog bowls 49 Notices Lead, Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, and Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)
Other Housewares: Notices include candlesticks, umbrellas, stadium cushions, and bedding 12 Notices

Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), Lead, and

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

Solder and Soldering Wire 4 Notices Lead
Tools: Notices include scissors, bandages, brass hardware, electrical tape, and utility gloves 16 Notices Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), and Lead and Lead Compounds
Sports Gear: Notices include jump rope, dumbbells, fishing sinkers, and hunting vests 26 Notices Lead and Lead Compounds and Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)
Product Category Notice(s) Alleged Chemicals
Water From Water Fountains 1 Notice Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)
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