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EPA Issues Enforcement Actions Amid Influx of Misleading Disinfectants

Posted on June 25, 2020 by Lauren Scott

Since coronavirus has swept through the US, EPA has begun issuing enforcement actions against those who unlawfully attempt to mislead the public by importing, manufacturing, distributing, and/or selling unregistered, potentially harmful disinfecting products.

EPA requires all disinfectants to be registered under FIFRA prior to manufacturing, distributing, importing, or selling in the US. EPA has even compiled a list of over 300 disinfecting products specifically approved for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. 

Workers in the pesticide industry may recall earlier this spring when EPA ordered Amazon and eBay to halt sales of many unregistered pesticides claiming to destroy COVID-19.

Well, EPA has not stopped there. We’ve compiled a few more of the most recent actions EPA has taken against manufacturers and distributors of unregistered disinfectants.

Stanton, CA

EPA issued a Stop Sale Order to a California chemical manufacturer recently. Environmental officials allege the manufacturer was mislabeling an antimicrobial disinfectant with the registration number for a different product. This disinfectant was later allegedly rebranded under a different name with no registration number, instead saying an EPA-registered product is the main “cleaning agent.”

Marietta, GA

Earlier this month, a small business owner in Georgia was charged with mail fraud and knowingly distributing and selling a misbranded pesticidal device after falsely claiming the air purifier could be used to destroy coronavirus.

According to Federal prosecutors, the business owner allegedly engaged in a scheme to defraud thousands of US consumers with misleading claims that the air purifier eliminates “every major viral and bacterial infection, including the COVID-19 coronavirus disease.” EPA added that this disinfecting device was allegedly mislabeled, a direct violation of FIFRA. Judicial proceedings are currently pending.

Bensenville, IL

A sanitation systems manufacturer was issued a Stop Sale Order after allegedly making public health claims that several of its products would protect against COVID-19. According to EPA, these claims were made without prior approval from EPA, as required under FIFRA.

Federal officials also allege another product was marketed on the company website as an approved N95 mask sterilant when no such approval was granted by EPA.

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