Company fined for smog-forming compounds in ‘Gorilla Snot’ hair gel

You might wonder what ingredient in a Mexican-made hair gel called Moco de Gorila - or Gorilla Snot - got its distributor in trouble with the law.

It’s probably not what you’re thinking. It was the styling product’s smog-forming compounds that prompted California air regulators to take action against Midway Importing Inc.


The Houston-based company, which distributes health and beauty care products nationwide, paid $213,000 in fines for selling the line of hair gel in violation of consumer product regulations designed to protect air quality, the California Air Resources Board said Monday.

During routine inspections in 2010, state investigators bought Moco de Gorila Gel Estilo Galan hair gel, which is manufactured by Nattura Laboratorios of Mexico. Laboratory tests determined the product - and five others in the Moco de Gorila line - exceeded state limits for volatile organic compounds, pollutants that react with sunlight to form ozone, the main ingredient in smog.


The state board estimated the hair products contributed an additional 23.9 tons of pollutants into California’s air and fined the company $8,900 per ton, less than it has sought for similar violations.

“The penalty in this case was reduced,” the settlement said, “because Midway Importing made diligent efforts to comply, cooperated with the investigation, and mitigated emissions by convincing the foreign manufacturer of the products to reformulate.”

Twitter: @tonybarboza

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