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Columbia Sportswear settles with EPA for mislabeled clothes containing insect repellent

Release Date: 07/22/2014
Contact Information: Hanady Kader, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-0454, kader.hanady@epa.gov

(Seattle—July 22, 2014) Columbia Sportswear Company has reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for distributing mislabeled clothing containing insect repellent and violating federal insecticide laws.

According to the settlement, the Portland, Oregon company distributed the clothes without the full label containing important information for consumers as required by federal law. While they were mislabeled, the clothes should not pose a risk to consumers.

“Clothes containing insect repellent must be treated with the same precautions as any other insecticide product,” said Kelly McFadden, manager of the EPA Pesticides Unit in Seattle. “Insecticide laws protect consumers and require that they have access to information on how to use insect repellents safely.”

Between 2010 and 2013, Columbia Sportswear distributed or sold hats and socks treated with the insecticide Insect Blocker. The clothing lacked required directions for use and precautionary statements. Pesticides must be labeled properly to ensure protection of human health and the environment. The company identified the error and voluntarily notified EPA of the violations. EPA fined Columbia Sportswear for similar violations in 2012.

The company has agreed to pay a $100,800 penalty for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

For more information on EPA pesticide laws visit: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/

EPA Region 10: www.epa.gov/region10

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