Release 03-26      

November 6, 2003


Jerry Martin
Gennet Paauwe
(916) 322-2990
Conair Corporation Settles with Payment of $225,000

-- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today that it has settled its complaint against Conair Corporation for their part in selling and manufacturing for sale in California consumer products that violated state limits on volatile organic compound (VOC) content.

"Consumer products are a leading contributor of VOCs in California," said ARB Executive Officer, Catherine Witherspoon. "VOCs affect smog levels in the state's atmosphere and therefore adversely affect our health and economy."

From 1995 through 2000, Conair sold, supplied, offered for sale, or manufactured for sale in California approximately 49,236 units of Rusk Blofoam; approximately 3,546 units of New Image Thermal Active Root Lift; and approximately 3,517 units of Beyond the Zone Volume Booster. After a thorough investigation, ARB's Consumer Products Enforcement Section found that these products contained more than the established standard of 16 percent VOCs. The case was referred to ARB's legal office and subsequently to the California Attorney General's Office. ARB was able to reach an agreement with Conair and settled for $225,000.

Deodorants, hair spray, cleaning products, and insecticides are examples of common consumer products that are made with ozone-forming chemicals known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Although each product only contains a small amount of VOCs, Californians use half a billion of these items every year. VOCs that are emitted into the air from consumer products and other sources (motor vehicles, stationary sources, etc.) react with other air pollutants under sunlight to form ground-level ozone and particulate matter (PM 10). Reducing VOC emissions from consumer products therefore plays an integral part in ARB's effort to reduce smog in California.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our website at