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EPA Takes Action To Bring Suffolk County Company into Compliance with Pesticides Regulations; Fines Company for Selling Unregistered Cleaning and Surface Disinfectant Products

Release Date: 07/07/2014
Contact Information: John Martin, (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj@epa.gov

      (New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with Air Techniques, Inc. of Melville, New York, to settle violations of federal law governing pesticides. The company, which sell wholesale cleaners and a surface disinfectant that are used to clean instruments, equipment and surfaces in dental offices and medical facilities, sold unregistered pesticides and imported pesticides into the U.S. without proper notification. The company will pay a $375,000 penalty and come into compliance with federal pesticide law.

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

      "Pesticides can make people sick, particularly if they are not used according to instructions,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “Companies that sell pesticides without making sure these products are properly registered and labeled put people’s health and safety at risk.”

      Under federal pesticide law, products that contain an unregistered pesticide as an active ingredient or claim to kill or repel bacteria or germs are considered pesticides and must be registered with the EPA prior to distribution or sale. The agency will not register a pesticide until it has been tested to show that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the label directions.

      During a May 15, 2013 inspection of Air Techniques’ Melville, New York, warehouse, the EPA discovered the following violations of federal pesticides law:
        • Two pesticides that Air Techniques sold from its warehouse, the “Monarch Enzymatic Cleaner,” and the “Monarch Waterline Cleaner,” were never registered with the EPA.
        • Air Techniques acquired the rights to sell a registered pesticide, BioSurf, from a Canadian company, which it then sold in the U.S. under the name “Monarch Surface Disinfectant.” Air Techniques failed to file proper paperwork with the EPA for this newly-named product, in violation of federal pesticides law.
        • The product instructions Air Techniques included with its “Monarch Surface Disinfectant/Dry Wipes Combo Pack” substantially differed from those on the EPA-approved labeling for the registered pesticide, BioSurf, and the Monarch Surface Disinfectant distributor product.
        • Air Techniques imported the “Monarch Surface Disinfectant,” and “Monarch Enzymatic Cleaner” into the U.S. without properly notifying the EPA.
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