N.H. AG settles with PetSmart over cadmium allegations

Bryan Cohen Feb. 9, 2012, 12:50pm


CONCORD, N.H. (Legal Newsline) - New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney and Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Thomas Burack announced a $15,000 settlement with PetSmart, Inc. on Wednesday.

PetSmart allegedly sold pet products with flexible PVC packaging that contained levels of cadmium above state regulatory limits and failed to submit certificates of compliance following a request.

Under the terms of the agreement, PetSmart agreed to a settlement with the state totaling $15,000 and did not admit liability for the alleged violations. PetSmart operates five retail stores in the state of New Hampshire.

Half of the settlement amount will be paid as a penalty, while the rest will be used to further enforce laws that prohibit toxic metals in materials for packaging. PetSmart will also put internal measures into practice to make sure that no further violations occur. This includes measures to make sure that compliance certificates are submitted on time.

Substances like cadmium and lead are sometimes used by manufacturers to increase flexibility or to protect the product from ultraviolet rays. While these substances may not pose a threat to those who handle the package, the toxic metals may pose a health and safety risk to the environment after the package is disposed in incinerators or landfills.

New Hampshire law requires that suppliers and manufacturers provide a certificate of compliance related to packaging material within 60 days of a request. The state coordinates the law's implementation with 10 other states through the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse.

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