LONG BEACH (CCNS) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a $213,668 settlement with Quest USA Corp. for violations of federal pesticide law involving illegally imported alcohol wipes that were not registered with the EPA and sent through the Port of Long Beach, the federal agency announced today.
As the product was not EPA-registered, neither its public health claims or potential effects on human health and environment have been evaluated, according to the EPA, which reported that the company has agreed to pay the nearly $214,000 civil penalty.
“Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, EPA has worked to ensure that the public has access to effective surface disinfectants,'' said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “EPA will continue to monitor for illegal products with unproven or misleading public health claims.''
EPA has been working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to identify and block entry of illegal products, many of which are being imported from China, according to the agency. In this case, Quest attempted to import more than 650,000 wipes in 20 shipments into the United States.
The Quest products, BioPure Multipurpose Wipes, were halted under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, which prohibits the distribution or sale of unregistered pesticides. The company also failed to file required documents stating that it was importing pesticides into the
United States, according to the EPA.
Under FIFRA, purported disinfectant products that claim to kill or repel viruses, bacteria or germs are considered pesticides and must be registered with the EPA prior to distribution or sale. Public health claims can only be made regarding products that have been properly tested and are registered with the EPA.
The agency will not register a pesticide until it has been determined that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the label directions. Products not registered by EPA can be harmful to human health, cause adverse effects, and may not be effective against the spread of germs.
EPA has released an expanded list of EPA-registered disinfectant products that have qualified for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The list contains more than 500 additional products -- including products that went through the expedited review process for emerging viral pathogens.
To view the most up-to-date list of EPA-registered disinfectant products, visit https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2 .
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