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EPA Stops New Jersey Company from Selling Illegal Pesticides; Protects Public from Health Risks

Release Date: 04/16/2014
Contact Information: John Martin, (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj@epa.gov

      (New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined Hannam Mart and NJ Hannam Chain Inc. for selling insecticides and anti-bacterial cleaning products at the Hannam Mart retail store in Fort Lee, New Jersey that were not registered and improperly labeled. Products used to kill pests and bacteria must be registered with the EPA to ensure they will not make people sick. They must also have labels with instructions on their proper use written in English. The companies have agreed to stop selling the products and will pay a penalty of $22,950.

      "The sale of illegal pesticides puts the health and safety of our communities at risk,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "Store owners have a responsibility to make sure the pesticide products they sell have the required EPA labels. I encourage all retailers to check their shelves to make sure they are not endangering their customers by selling illegal pesticides.”

      Some pesticides have been linked to various forms of illnesses in people, ranging from skin and eye irritation to cancer. Some pesticides may also affect the hormone or endocrine systems. In many situations, there are non-chemical methods that will effectively control pests.

      An EPA inspection of the Hannam Mart retail store in Fort Lee revealed the companies were selling pesticide products, including a mosquito killer, an antibacterial cleaner and an antibiotic product for washing clothing, that had not been registered with the EPA and had labels written in Korean.

      Before a pesticide product is registered, the producer of the product must provide data from tests conducted according to EPA guidelines to ensure that the product will not be harmful to people’s health. The EPA examines the ingredients and the way in which the product will be used and assesses a wide variety of potential human health and environmental effects associated with its use. Distributors and retailers are responsible for ensuring that all pesticides distributed and sold fully comply with the law.

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