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EPA SETTLES WITH ZODIAC POOL CARE, INC. FOR SALE AND DISTRIBUTION OF MISBRANDED ANTIMICROBIAL SWIMMING POOL PRODUCTS

Release Date: 11/04/1999
Contact Information: Cheryn Jones, Pesticides Section, 404-562-9006; Alan Dion, Office of Legal Support, 404-562-9587 ;Wesley Lambert, EPA Media Relations, 404-562-8316
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the settlement of an administrative enforcement action against Zodiac Pool Care, Inc., Muskin Leisure Products, Inc., and Sevylor USA, Inc., for alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). EPA Region 4 (Atlanta) took the lead in this enforcement action which involved companies located within the jurisdiction of two other EPA regions: Region 3, headquartered in Philadelphia and Region 9, headquartered in SanFrancisco.

The swimming pool products are sold under the names “Nature2, The Natural Spa Purifier,” “Nature2 Natural Pool Purifier,” “Aqua Brilliant Pool Water Purifier,” and “Aqua Brilliant Pool Water Purifier 2 Refills.” The products contain copper and silver, which, according to label and advertising claims, reduce the amount of chlorine required for controlling microorganisms in swimming pools. Under FIFRA, all pesticide products, including those used for antimicrobial purposes, must be registered with the EPA before they can legally be sold or distributed in the United States.

Zodiac Pool Care, Inc., et al. agreed to pay a $26,400 administrative penalty and seek registration of the antimicrobial swimming pool products listed above as well as other antimicrobial pool products sold under additional trade names. As an interim measure prior to registration, respondents have agreed to correct an alleged misbranding violation on the pesticides by placing stickers containing the EPA establishment number on the products. Companies which produce pesticides are required to register their production establishment with EPA and place the establishment number on the label of all pesticides produced by the company.

EPA requires submission of efficacy data on pesticides containing antimicrobial claims, since the public cannot readily ascertain with the naked eye the effectiveness of this type of pesticide. EPA has emphasized enforcement actions against noncomplying antimicrobial pesticides with public health claims, due to human health implications if the pesticides are not effective.