Knife Industry Facing Lawsuits
Cody, WY (July 11, 2014) – The American Knife & Tool Institute is issuing a warning to its members and anyone in the industry who sells knives into the State of California.
Cutlery producers and purveyors have recently come under scrutiny by those who enforce the California Health and Safety Code. The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation has recently filed an action against Frost Cutlery and various makers of tools alleging that they sell products containing “leaded brass.” A brass “plumb bob” was among the tools identified.
Brass components are often found in knives and may include handle rivets, cross-guards, spacers, liners, bolsters, decorative elements, etc. Some brass alloys contain 1.5 to 3 percent lead, and so, handling a knife with brass components or a brass plum bob is considered exposure to lead in California.
The law says:
No person in the course of doing business* shall knowingly and intentionally expose any individual to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity without first giving clear and reasonable warning to such individual, except as provided in section 25249.10. (Health and Safety Code section 25249.6)
Lawsuits have even been filed in California against restaurants with brass or bronze doorknobs!
A full list of chemicals – including the metals lead and nickel – that are considered dangerous by the state of California is available at www.oehha.ca.gov.
Here is an option for a warning notice to include with products sold into the State of California:
WARNING: THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS CHEMICALS KNOWN TO THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA TO CAUSE CANCER, BIRTH DEFECTS, AND/OR OTHER REPRODUCTIVE HARM. CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES THIS WARNING TO BE GIVEN TO CUSTOMERS IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
* For purposes of this law, “Person in the course of doing business” means any individual or business entity, but does not include any business that employs fewer than 10 people. (Section 25249.11)