LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently fined Imperial Toy LLC, located in North Hills, Calif., $66,180 for selling “Spray-A-String,” which contained R-22, an ozone-depleting substance. Selling or distributing products containing R-22 within the U.S. violates the Clean Air Act.
Imperial Toy manufactures, sells, and distributes novelty toys worldwide. In May 2006, the EPA discovered that Imperial Toy had sold 51,118 cans of “Spray-A-String” confetti string product in 2005 and offered for sale, but did not sell, an additional 97,920 cans in 2006. As part of the settlement, Imperial Toy agreed to destroy their existing stocks of ozone-depleting substance-containing confetti string products.
“The EPA will continue to enforce federal law to protect the ozone layer from further damage,” said Deborah Jordan, director of the Air Division for the U.S. EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “Companies selling or distributing ozone-depleting chemicals within the United States must be aware of the possibility of fines and legal action,” she said.
Adverse health effects of ultra-violet radiation resulting from depletion of the ozone layer include skin cancers, cataracts and immune system suppression. For decades, R-22 has been a staple in some products, especially as a propellant and/or refrigerant. As this product is being phased out, responsible manufacturers have turned to more environmentally-friendly substitutes for R-22.