Walmart Gets Prop 65 Warning Letter Over Halloween Costumes

Walmart and costume manufacturer, Be Wicked Inc., have been warned about dangerous chemicals in costumes, accessories and the cases containing them, according to a notice letter.

According to the Prop 65 warning letter, the Be Wicked vinyl costumes and costume accessory storage cases contain toxic chemicals that can cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm and are listed under the California consumer protection law. The letter warns that Walmart and Be Wicked need to either notify their consumers about the chemicals in their vinyl costume products or reduce levels of the chemicals.

The chemicals included in the vinyl costumes listed under California’s Proposition 65 are di(2-ethylhexl)phthalate (DEHP) and di(isononyl)phthalate (DINP), notes the warning letter. They have been sold since at least 2015 and can cause harm by ingestion, dermal exposure, or inhalation.

“California citizens, through the act of buying, acquiring or utilizing the products, are exposed to the listed chemical,” states the vinyl costume warning letter.

The warning letter also notes that the vinyl costumes sold by Walmart that may contain the dangerous chemicals include Be Wicked Wigs and Costumes in all colors and sizes, as well as the storage cases they are sold in.

According to the vinyl costume warning letter, Walmart and Be Wicked need to recall the product already sold or make efforts to recontact those who have already purchased the products and warn them about the potential for health hazards.

Additionally, the Be Wicked vinyl costume products, including their storage cases, need to either be reformulated or warnings need to be provided to consumers about the lead content. The companies must also pay a civil fine over the vinyl costumes, says the warning letter.

A California citizen sent the warning letter “to promote awareness of exposures to toxic chemicals in products sold in California and, if possible, to improve human health by reducing hazardous substances contained in such items.”

The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act

Proposition 65, also known as The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, was enacted in 1986. Chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive or developmental problems are identified and published by the State of California each year. More than 800 chemicals are listed under The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.

The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act also requires that companies using chemicals listed under the law as hazardous to human health must warn consumers about the potential for exposure. These companies can also try to reduce the chemical or chemicals to acceptable levels.

Concerned Californians can send Prop 65 warning letters to companies about toxic chemicals in their products. Companies have a window of time to resolve the issue or they could face additional litigation, under the law. Californians who wish to send a Prop 65 warning letter must also properly notify the state government.

If you are concerned about exposure to toxic chemicals listed under Prop 65, the attorneys at Bradley/Grombacher are currently investigating Prop 65 claims and can evaluate your claim.