Major Los Angeles-area Manufacturer Eliminates Emissions of Cancer-Causing Chemical

OAKLAND – Today, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) announced a legal settlement with Inglewood, CA based Marvin Engineering Company to eliminate the use of a cancer-causing solvent in their manufacturing facility.  Under the terms of the agreement, the company will discontinue using perchloroethylene (perc) and substitute an alternative product. The company's Inglewood plant is next door to a pre-school and near many homes and businesses.  

"Today marks another important step in protecting communities and workers from an avoidable health hazard," said Michael Green, executive director of CEH, "This is a win-win for everyone involved."

Marvin Engineering's Inglewood facility is located in a populated neighborhood and adjacent to the Rodgers Park Recreational Center, which houses a pre-school. "In over 30 years of doing business in the city of Inglewood, Marvin Engineering has always been a good corporate citizen.  It is an important element of their business culture to be responsive to the community and mindful of the environment.  I commend them for their actions today to protect the environment," said Inglewood Mayor Roosevelt F. Dorn."

After CEH notified Marvin Engineering in October 2006 that their facility was emitting illegal levels of perc, the company responded to CEH's demands and agreed to end its use of the cancer-causing chemical, switching over to "Simple Green," a product found in retail stores for home use.  With nearly 850 employees and many large military contracts, Marvin Engineering's facility emitted over 4,329 pounds of perc in 2004/2005 and 3,044 pounds in 2005/2006.  Marvin Engineering ceased use of the product entirely in the end of 2006 due to CEH's legal notice. 

"This case represents another positive impact that Proposition 65 has had in eliminating toxic exposures in California" said Michael Freund, CEH's attorney for this case, "Without Proposition 65, the company would still be emitting perchloroethylene and needlessly endangering workers and residents."

Perc is a solvent often used in commercial dry cleaning and manufacturing.  CEH litigation has forced major dry cleaning and industrial facilities in California to eliminate thousands of pounds of perc emissions and to warn workers and consumers of the potential hazards of contact with the chemical.

"Finding safer alternatives to toxic chemicals is essential to protect people in the places they work, play and live," added Alexa Engelman, litigation coordinator for CEH.  

CEH is an environmental health nonprofit based in Oakland, CA working to reduce consumer and community exposures to  toxic chemicals through litigation and partnerships with green industry leaders.  To find out more about CEH, visit www.cehca.org