SACRAMENTO, Calif. --- In its largest consumer product settlement ever, the California Air Resources Board recently fined Ace Hardware $850,000 for selling in its stores windshield washer fluid that failed to meet California air emissions requirements. ARB cited the hardware chain for selling windshield fluid throughout California that was specially formulated with higher pollutants to prevent freezing in the state's colder, mountainous areas. From 2003 to 2007, Ace Hardware sold nearly 25,000 one-gallon containers of washer fluid with higher volatile organic compound content in areas throughout the state where it was not allowed, ARB said. Volatile organic compounds react with other pollutants and sunlight in the atmosphere to form ground-level ozone and particulate matter, the main ingredients in smog. Both pollutants can exacerbate asthma as well as respiratory and cardiovascular ailments.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials