Background

A U.S. company has agreed to pay a $7.0 million penalty to settle allegations that its imports violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

According to a press release from the Environmental Protection Agency, the company imported products containing filters that incorporated an unregistered nanosilver and were labeled and marketed with pesticidal claims (e.g., “antibacterial filter”). The EPA notes that the only nanosilver pesticides currently registered are approved solely for incorporation into textiles to protect those articles themselves from antimicrobial pests such as mold and bacteria that can cause deterioration, discoloration, or odors. No nanosilver pesticide is registered for use in home appliances to disinfect the ambient air or protect the health of the user.

The press release states that after the company agreed to remove the filters with the unregistered nanosilver, both the EPA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection worked together to conditionally release all the shipments held nationwide so the company could consolidate them, under EPA administrative order, at its own facilities. The company then systematically replaced the filters and removed the online and on-box pesticidal claims for not only the products it had imported but also some additional products already in the U.S.

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