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EPA proposes $116,150 penalty against Big Lots for selling mislabeled and unregistered pesticide products

Release Date: 6/16/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: Kären Thompson, (312) 353-8547

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA094

CHICAGO (June 16, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has filed an administrative complaint against Big Lots Inc., Columbus, Ohio, for distributing and selling unregistered pesticide products. A $116,150 penalty is proposed.

An Illinois Department of Public Health inspector found two unregistered pesticide products, Insect Coil Burner and 8 Mosquito Repellant Coils, at a Big Lots store in Glendale Heights, Ill. The inspector placed a Stop Sale/Use Order on the products. Subsequently, EPA issued a Stop Sale Order on June 22, 2004, to all Big Lots stores nationwide for the two products.

According to Margaret Guerriero, director of Region 5’s Waste, Pesticides and Toxics Division, “Consumers should make sure that any product with pesticidal claims is registered with EPA. Only then can they be certain that the product will not cause adverse effects on the environment or people.”

In addition, Big Lots sold the chlorpyrifos-containing pesticide Ortho Borer and Leaf Miner Spray even though its registration had been canceled in June 2002. Because of concerns for childrens’ health, EPA phased out residential chlorpyrifos (also known as Dursban) products.

Finally, Big Lots sold Lysol Brand II Disinfectant, a product that did not have a required complete English language pesticide label containing directions for use.

EPA registers all pesticides and pesticide products under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. Except for some limited exemptions, no pesticide can be legally sold, distributed or exported from the United States unless it has a complete label with an EPA registration number.

For more information on pesticides, go to

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