Brown gets polluting hair products taken off store shelves

Chris Rizo Mar. 16, 2010, 2:33pm

Jerry Brown (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California retailers are being forced to take Pro's Choice Beauty Care products off their shelves under a court judgment won by the state attorney general, officials said Tuesday.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown won the judgment against New York-based Pro's Choice Beauty Care Inc., blocking the company from selling "pollution-causing" hair products by such companies as Redken, Sebastian, John Paul Mitchell and Big Sexy.

The judgment requires Pro's Choice to pay $1.25 million in penalties and cost, and requires retailers Rite Aid, Long's Drug Stores, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreen Company, Ralphs Grocery Company, Kmart and Target to remove these products at all California stores.

"Pro's Choice sold thousands of containers of pollution-causing hair products to consumers who unknowingly exposed themselves and the environment to harmful pollutants," Brown said. "Today's agreement will remove products from store shelves that pollute our air and exacerbate respiratory diseases such as asthma."

Pro's Choice is the largest distributor of professional hair care and nail products in the country.

Brown's office said the company buys domestic brand-name products overseas and re-imports the products to sell them below suggested retail value.

In 2006, the California Air Resources Board and several district attorneys notified Brown's office that many products supplied by Pro's Choice contained air contaminants above the state's limits on VOCs, volatile organic compounds.

Brown's office filed a lawsuit against the company in 2008. The company was charged with violating California's Health and Safety Code 4200, which prevents companies from intentionally discharging pollutants into the air.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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