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Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program


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Los Angeles County                 Department of Public Health
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
5555 Ferguson Drive, Suite 210-02
Commerce, CA 90022
(800) LA-4-LEAD
Fax (323) 890-8736


Subject: Los Angeles Times: Pepsi Agrees to Get the Lead Out of Labels

Los Angeles Times  

Pepsi Agrees to Get the Lead Out of Labels  

L.A. and the state sued because bottles from Mexican plants contain the substance and some businesses sell them in Southern California.  

By Patrick McGreevy

Times Staff Writer  

April 22, 2006  

Settling a lawsuit by the city of Los Angeles and the state, PepsiCo Inc. has agreed to eliminate labels containing lead on bottled soft drinks imported from Mexico and will pay a $1-million civil penalty, officials announced Friday.  

The lawsuit alleged that the soft-drink maker violated Proposition 65 by failing to warn consumers that the labels contained lead.  

"This is a landmark result which will protect the health of our children and make our communities safer," City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo said at a City Hall news conference. "Pepsi is here with us today doing the responsible thing."  

Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer said Pepsi bottled in Mexico is not supposed to be sold in Southern California, but some businesses bring it here because the soda has a different taste that some Latinos prefer.

  The labels on some bottles contain up to 45% lead, he said.   He said the lead can be transferred to hands and then be ingested if a person touches his or her mouth.  

Additionally, lead could contaminate the inside of bottles during washing for recycling.  

"This is a settlement that breaks new ground in protecting Californians from hazardous substances in our environment," Lockyer said.  

Under the settlement, filed in court Friday, PepsiCo will begin phasing out labels containing lead and will remove existing soda bottled in Mexico from shelves in California.  

In addition to the $1-million civil penalty, the company could face an additional $4.25 million in penalties if it fails to phase out 95% of the labels with lead within 10 years.  

PepsiCo also will pay $500,000 to a fund for monitoring whether Mexican Pepsi bottles are coming into California and to other programs on lead abatement in food.  

The firm also will pay $750,000 to reimburse investigative and attorney costs, Delgadillo said.   The rest of this article is available from,1,5028938.story .    

Brian Gumm, Writer and Researcher
Alliance for Healthy Homes
227 Massachusetts Ave NE Suite 200
Washington, DC 20002
FAX: 202-543-4466  

Founded in 1990 as the Alliance To End Childhood Lead Poisoning, we have expanded our work on lead poisoning prevention to address other housing-related health hazards.

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