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1998 News Releases



Release Date: 11/12/1998
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587

     (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced  that it has issued an order against Pretty Baby Co., Pomona, Calif., to stop selling an unregistered product that is harmful to the public health.  The company violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), by selling the product, Pretty Baby Chinese Chalk, which resembles ordinary blackboard chalk but contains unspecified pesticides, and is being sold to schools and to residents to kill cockroaches, ants and lice.
     "This product is illegal and it can hurt people, especially kids who may be tempted to play with it because it looks like ordinary blackboard chalk," said Pam Cooper, section chief of the pesticide program in U.S. EPA's western regional office.   "We want to send a clear message to people who sell this product -- don't. And we want consumers to understand that they can make informed decisions about the pesticides they use, but only if they use registered products. Consumer should look for a U.S. EPA registration number on pesticide products."

     By law, companies making such claims must register their products with U.S. EPA, and must provide information about the chemical make-up of the product and its risk to humans and the environment. The product must have informative labeling and child-resistant packaging.

     Cooper said the chalk is believed to have been manufactured in China and imported illegally into the United States.  U.S. EPA has been working with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) in tracking down the parties responsible for importing the illegal chalk.  Also, DPR and California's Department of Health Services issued a health warning to consumers today about Pretty Baby Chinese Chalk.

      For More information Veda Federighi, California Department of Pesticide Regulation, at (916) 445-3974 or Ken August, California Department of Health Service, at (916) 657-3064.