Dollar Tree Fined for Selling Contaminated Confetti

The nation’s largest dollar discount store will pay a $120,000 civil penalty fee for distributing and selling about 1.8 million aerosol cans of confetti that contained the ozone-depleting propellant, R-22 Freon.

Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., which operates more than 3,200 stores in 48 states, has agreed to pay the fee to the United States to resolve allegations that the company violated provisions of the Clean Air Act.

According to a consent agreement and final order filed on Thursday, Dollar Tree Stores purchased for re-sale approximately 3.7 million cans of a product known as Zany String between September 2004 and May 2005. About 1.8 million cans of Zany String were sold from the company's stores, and another 1.6 million cans were later recovered by the company and were disposed of properly, the legal agreement says.

Analysis of the contents of Zany String showed that the cans used a propellant known as R-22 Freon, a Class II Ozone Depleting Substance that is currently banned for certain uses, including aerosol products, under provisions of the federal Clean Air Act.

R-22 is a type of hydrofluorocarbon, or HCFC, that is broken down by ultraviolet solar radiation, which leads to depletion of Earth's protective ozone layer. A compromised ozone layer, and the resulting increase in ultraviolet radiation that reaches Earth's surface, can cause various negative health and environmental effects, including damage to the skin, eyes and immune system.

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