OAKLAND — Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced Jan. 19 that Daiso California LLC has agreed to pay a total of $350,000 in civil penalties and costs in the settlement of a lawsuit brought by the district attorney’s offices of Alameda and Santa Clara counties.

The lawsuit alleged that the company sold products marketed to children containing lead and/or phthalate compounds exceeding the legal limits without providing clear and reasonable warnings in violation of Proposition 65 and Health and Safety Code sections 108935-108939.

The settlement, signed by Alameda County Presiding Judge C. Don Clay, pertains to Daiso’s retail stores in California (located in Daly City, Newark and San Jose), and requires Daiso to pay $350,000 in civil penalties and costs. The civil penalties from the judgment will be used to provide money to support local enforcement of California consumer protection laws and the state Safe Water and Toxic Enforcement Fund.

The products in question were sold in Daiso stores in 2008 and 2009 before it was discovered that they might violate California consumer protection laws. Daiso has cooperated fully with both local prosecutors and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to bring their consumer products into compliance with state and federal regulations.

O’Malley said, “The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting California consumers from potentially harmful products in the marketplace.”

Deputy District Attorney Scott Patton handled the case for Alameda County. He explained, “Phthalates are synthetic chemicals used by manufactures to make plastic more flexible and to add fragrances to soap and other personal care products.”

He added, “although there have not been any known illnesses or injuries caused by any of the Daiso products in question, research does suggest there are increased medical risks for children exposed to excess levels of phthalates.”

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