This article is brought to you by Forbes concerning non-compliance with Prop 65 labeling laws.

Last year the state of California added the commonly used flame retardant TDCPP (chlorinated Tris) to its list of known cancer-causing chemicals.

The listing of chlorinated Tris went into effect in October 2012, which means any product still containing the flame retardant needs to come with a warning label in California.

Independent testing commissioned by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) found 15 baby and children’s products with high levels of chlorinated Tris, above the state safety standard. CEH announced today it has initiated a legal action against the retailers and producers for products found with high levels of Tris in violation of California law, including WalMart, Babies-R-Us, Target, Munchkin and a half dozen smaller producers.

Tris was linked to genetic mutations in studies performed in the 1960s and 1970s and was banned from children’s pajamas in 1977. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has stated that it “may pose a serious health risk to consumers.”

Prop 65 has historically been used to pressure companies into removing chemicals of concern from their products, in the absence of regulation that requires them to do so. The thinking is that it’s reasonably tough to sell a baby product with a giant “This Might Cause Cancer” label affixed to it, so rather than label products most companies opt to remove the ingredients that would require the label. CEH has previously used Prop 65 notices to come to legal settlements with both retailers and manufacturers around potentially toxic ingredients in consumer products, including lead in a variety of children’s toys.

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