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Intertek's footwear testing experts join AAFA at WSA
02
Feb '10
Sure, your heels may kill your feet after a few hours of wear, but did you know there may be other dangers lurking in your shoes? Late last year, environmental groups targeted footwear brands and retailers for presence of potentially harmful chemicals, such as chromium VI, lead, cadmium and phthalates, through California's Proposition 65. Intertek, a leading provider of quality and safety solutions to a wide range of industries worldwide, will be joining the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) at the World Shoes & Accessories (WSA) Show on February 3rd to comprehensively address how the California-based labeling law is now surprisingly affecting the footwear industry.

Following alerts for lead in handbags last year, shoes are the latest product to come under fire. The law mandates that products sold in California containing one of over 800 listed chemicals require a warning label noting that the chemicals in these products may cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm unless products meet state-defined limits. Footwear sold that lacks printed warnings are subject to legal proceedings by any citizen enforcer, non-profit group or individual that alleges a violation. These agencies and individuals can issue a 60-day notice stating intent to initiate a lawsuit – under which the law covers all legal fees and awards plaintiffs with up to a third of the settlement.

Intertek's global footwear testing experts have acted quickly to educate clients about how to comply with the California law, as well as building awareness about other states that could adopt similar standards. Intertek tests for a variety of restricted and hazardous substances, recognizing chemicals of concern noted on the AAFA's Restricted Substances List as well as regional regulatory requirements in addition to offering consultation and evaluation services.

“Footwear brands and retailers will quickly need to educate themselves about how this law impacts them, or unfortunately face the consequences,” said Gene Rider, President of Intertek Consumer Goods North America. “It's imperative to stay aware of the substances going into their products to create a sound compliance strategy and solution.”

“Don't Tread on My Shoes: California Proposition 65 and Other Product Safety Issues,” will be held at the WSA Show in Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. from 8-9:30 AM PST. Speakers include Footwear Director, Nate Herman from the AAFA; Technical Knowledge Manager, Andrew Farhat from Intertek; and Lisa Halko of the Law Firm of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

Intertek Group plc

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