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April 2024 Bounty Hunter Plaintiff Claims

Logo for Prop 65 Pulse, a Keller and Heckman LLP newsletter, with imagery of a heart monitor and the outline of California


Exploring Trends in California’s Proposition 65: Claims, Chemicals, Products, and More

California’s Proposition 65 (“Prop. 65”), the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, requires, among other things, sellers of products to provide a “clear and reasonable warning” if use of the product results in a knowing and intentional exposure to one of more than 900 different chemicals “known to the State of California” to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, which are included on The Proposition 65 List. For additional background information, see the Special Focus article, California's Proposition 65: A Regulatory Conundrum.

Because Prop. 65 permits enforcement of the law by private individuals (the so-called bounty hunter provision), this section of the statute has long been a source of significant claims and litigation in California. It has also gone a long way in helping to create a plaintiff’s bar that specializes in such lawsuits. This is because the statute allows recovery of attorney’s fees, in addition to the imposition of civil penalties as high as $2,500 per day per violation. Thus, the costs of litigation, and settlement, can be substantial.

The purpose of Keller and Heckman’s latest publication, Prop 65 Pulse, is to provide our readers with an idea of the ongoing trends in bounty hunter activity. 

In April of 2024, product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers were the targets of over 351 new Notices of Violation (“Notices”) and amended Notices, alleging a violation of Prop. 65 for failure to provide a warning for their products. Notices were based on the alleged presence of the following chemicals in these products. Noteworthy trends and categories from Notices sent in April 2024 are excerpted and discussed below. A complete list of Notices sent in April 2024 can be found on the California Attorney General’s website, located here: 60-Day Notice Search.

Food and Drug

Product Category Notice(s) Alleged Chemicals

Dietary Supplements: Notices include protein powder, ashwagandha powder, collagen powder, chlorella, plant protein powders, moringa powder, Irish sea moss, barley grass powder, and garcinia extract

39 Notices

Mercury and Mercury Compounds, Lead and Lead Compounds, and Cadmium, Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

Seafood: Notices include sardines and sardine paste, dried herring, anchovies, mackerel, shellfish, octopus, and seaweed

28 Notices

Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds, Lead and Lead Compounds

Noodles, Pasta, and Rice: Notices include edamame spaghetti, charcoal noodles, udon noodles, and brown rice vermicelli

6 Notices


Fruits and Vegetables: Notices include dried mushrooms, dried apricots, dried ginger, dried mango, papaya spears, and spinach

17 Notices

Lead and Lead Compounds, Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds 

Spices and Sauces: Notices include turmeric powder, tapenade, and za’atar

4 Notices

Lead and Lead Compounds

Assorted Prepared Food and Snacks: Notices include granola, chips, jerky, vegan quiche, tortillas, and sunflower seeds

32 Notices

Lead and Lead Compounds, Cadmium, and Cadmium Compounds

Nicotine Pouches

2 Notices


Cosmetics and Personal Care

Product Category Notice(s) Alleged Chemicals

Powdered Cosmetics: Notices include blush powder, and eyeshadow palettes

7 Notices

Titanium Dioxide (airborne, unbound particles of respirable size)

Other Personal Care Items: Notices include rolling massagers and lip balm and hand lotion set with reusable case

3 Notices

Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)

Other Cosmetics: Notices include mascara, shampoo, lotions and moisturizers, hair gel, lip balm, and shave cream

44 Notices

Coconut oil diethanolamine condensate (cocamide diethanolamine) and

Consumer Products

Product Category Notice(s) Alleged Chemicals

Cookware: Notices include kitchen scissors, measuring spoons, and cheese knives 

7 Notices

Lead and Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)

Leather Goods: Notices include gloves, shoes, and wallets

3 Notices

Chromium (hexavalent compounds)

Clothing and Shoes: Notices include sandals, hoodies, coats, and lockets

12 Notices

Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), 
Diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP)

Plastic Pouches, Bags, and Accessories: Notices include backpacks, bags, purses, cases, travel pouches, and lunch bags

26 Notices

Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), Diisononyl phthalate (DINP), and 
Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP)

Glassware and Ceramics: Notices include mugs, teapots, glassware trays, and dog bowls

49 Notices

Lead, Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, and Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)

Other Housewares: Notices include candlesticks, umbrellas, stadium cushions, and bedding

12 Notices

Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), Lead, and
Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

Solder and Soldering Wire

4 Notices


Tools: Notices include scissors, bandages, brass hardware, electrical tape, and utility gloves

16 Notices

Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), and Lead and Lead Compounds

Sports Gear: Notices include jump rope, dumbbells, fishing sinkers, and hunting vests

26 Notices

Lead and Lead Compounds and Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)


Product Category Notice(s)

Alleged Chemicals

Water From Water Fountains

1 Notice

Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

There are numerous defenses to Prop. 65 claims and proactive measures that industry can take prior to receiving a Prop. 65 Notice in the first place. Keller and Heckman attorneys have extensive experience in defense of Prop. 65 claims and in all aspects of Prop. 65 compliance and risk management. We provide tailored Prop. 65 services to a wide range of industries, including food and beverage, cosmetics and personal care, consumer products, chemical products, e-vapor and tobacco products, household products, plastics and rubber, and retail distribution.

To contact us with questions or for more information about California's Proposition 65, email or call our Washington, DC office at 202.434.4100 or our San Francisco office at 415.948.2800.