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EPA fines San Francisco business for selling illegal insecticide chalk

Release Date: 9/22/2003
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 947-4248

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today fined a San Francisco business $3,168 for selling an unregistered insecticide, a violation of the federal pesticide law.

The EPA penalized the Kwong Sang Lung Company for selling the unregistered Miraculous Insecticide Chalk to a Honolulu business. Insecticidal chalk poses a particular risk to children because it is indistinguishable from common blackboard chalk, and lacks child-proof packaging.

"Businesses and consumers alike should be aware that these illegal products can put children at risk," said Enrique Manzanilla, the director for the EPA's Cross Media Division for its Pacific Southwest office. "EPA considers the sale of these illegal products serious violations and will take necessary enforcement actions."

Insecticidal chalk often contains deltamethrin which, if handled, can cause eye and mouth irritation. Between 1999 and 2001, Poison Control Centers nationwide received approximately 100 reports annually involving insecticide chalk, although a majority of these were associated with minor or no symptoms.

Inspectors with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture discovered the violation during an inspection in September 2001 at a marketplace in Honolulu. The inspection was in response to a tip the state received. An invoice identified the Kwong Sang Lung company as a wholesaler/importer.

Properly registered products have labels that list their ingredients, as well as their human, environmental, physical and chemical hazards, and information on their use, storage and disposal. Comparisons with similar registered products show that many of these illegal products lack key information on their labels. Consumers should look for an EPA registration number on the label.

For more information on illegal insecticides, go to:
http://epa.gov/pesticides/health/illegalproducts/index.htm

For more information on pesticides and kids, go to:
http://www.epa.gov/newsroom/headline2_073103.htm

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