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U.S. EPA issues two “Stop Sale” orders to protect public from Unelko Corp.’s unregistered pesticides

Release Date: 10/15/2008
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, (415) 947-4149, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov

Nine illegal antimicrobial products still on shelves or offered on web
SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Unelko Corporation to stop selling nine unregistered pesticides in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

The EPA has issued a “Stop Sale” Order to prevent Unelko, located at 14641 N. 74th Street, from continuing to offer for sale to the public the following unregistered pesticides held on its premises: Eliminate Stainless Shine 3-in-1 Surface Care, Eliminate 3-in-1 Sani-Shield Antimicrobial Surface Barrier, Eliminate Sani-Shield 3-in-1 Surface Care, 1 Step Clean & Shield Bath Scrub, 1 Step Clean & Shield Bathroom Care, 1 Step Clean & Shield Surface Care, and Eliminate Sani-Scrub 3-in-1 Surface Care.

The EPA has also issued a “Stop Sale” Order to prohibit Unelko from continuing to market and offer for sale the following unregistered pesticides from its websites: 1 Step Clean & Shield Bathroom Care, 1 Step Clean & Shield Bath Scrub, 1 Step Clean & Shield Surface Wipe, 1 Step Clean & Shield Surface Care, Eliminate Sani-Scrub 3-in-1 Surface Care, Sani-Shield Surface Wipe, Eliminate Sani-Shield 3-in-1 Surface Care, and Eliminate Stainless Shine 3-in-1 Surface Care. In particular, the EPA has ordered Unelko to stop making unsubstantiated claims that its products are effective against specific microorganisms such as Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (i.e., MRSA), Escherichia coli, Salmonella, noroviruses, and the AD14 common cold virus.

“Without proper labeling and registration, these products may pose a risk to consumers,” said Katherine Taylor, Associate Director of the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. “The sale of these products not only puts the public at risk through unjustified reliance upon their usefulness as pesticides, but also unfairly undercuts legitimate businesses that have registered their products.”

In addition to the two “Stop Sale” Orders, the EPA has recently filed a Complaint in administrative court for the alleged illegal offering for sale of the pesticides at issue as well as Unelko’s failure to provide the EPA with access to documents relating to the shipment of these unregistered products.

Products that make surface disinfection or sanitizer claims are considered pesticides and must be registered under federal law. The sale or distribution of a pesticide that has not been registered with the EPA is a violation of federal pesticide law, which requires registration of pesticide products and pesticide-production facilities, as well as proper pesticide labeling. These requirements protect public health and the environment by minimizing the risks associated with the production, handling, and application of pesticides.

For more information on pesticide regulation and enforcement, please visit the EPA’s Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/fifra/

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