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U.S. EPA settles with Burlingame company for allegedly selling improperly labeled pesticides

Release Date: 02/14/2007
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, 415-947-4297

(02/14/07 -- SAN FRANCISCO) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined a Burlingame, Calif. water treatment company $111,488 for selling pesticides that were missing critical label information.

Garratt-Callahan manufactures disinfectants for use in cooling towers, boilers and water treatment equipment. According to the administrative complaint that the EPA filed against Garratt-Callahan, the products in question were missing various portions of the label text, including directions for proper use. One of the products, Formula 305, was missing text regarding the dangers of mixing the product with ammonia. In addition, it was lacking information on the reuse of the container and first-aid instructions.

The sale or distribution of a pesticide that is not properly labeled is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. This federal law requires specific labeling on pesticides before they can be sold or distributed.

“Improper labeling can result in harm to the user or the environment,” said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the EPA 's Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. “To ensure the safe use of pesticides, registrants are required to provide accurate product information and instructions, which should appear on the product label.”

The violations were discovered after an inspector from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation visited one of Garratt-Callahan’s manufacturing plants on Rollins Road in Millbrae in 2004.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/pesticides.