Release 04-31      

December 2, 2004


Jerry Martin
Gennet Paauwe
(916) 322-2990
Spot Remover Manufacturer Settles with Payment of $165,000

-- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today that it has accepted a payment of $165,000 from Reckitt Benckiser, Inc. to settle claims that the company sold products in California that exceeded regulatory limits of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

"VOCs react with other pollutants under sunlight to form ground-level ozone and particulate matter, the main ingredients in smog," ARB Executive Officer, Catherine Witherspoon said. "Both can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks and cause or aggravate bronchitis and other lung diseases."

Between 2001 and 2003, Reckitt Benckiser sold, supplied, offered for sale, and manufactured for sale in California approximately 65,016 units of Energine Spot Remover. ARB found that these units contained concentrations of VOCs exceeding the 8% clean air regulation limit. It was determined that this resulted in 11 tons of excess VOC emissions.

Along with other provisions, Reckitt Benckiser agreed to a penalty of $165,000, paid directly to the California Air Pollution Control Fund (APCF). The APCF is used to mitigate various sources of pollution through education and the advancement and use of cleaner technology.

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.