Thermwell Gets Fine for Unregistered Water Cleaning Product

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently fined Thermwell Products Co., Inc., $5,200 for allegedly selling an unregistered water cleaning product with labels claiming the product eliminates bacteria and removes common bacteria in air conditioners, humidifiers, dehumidifiers and refrigerators, a violation of federal law.

??Disinfectants and products that control bacteria are considered pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). In 2006, the company distributed and sold Frost King Double Strength Pan-Tablets to Lowes with labels making claims that would require registration as pesticides with EPA.

??"Our message is clear -- if you manufacture or distribute a product that claims to disinfect, kill, control, or remove bacteria, it must be registered as a pesticide," said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division of EPA Southwest Regional Office "Registration ensures that labels include use directions and safety precautions designed to limit risks to people and the environment."

??FIFRA regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States. Before selling or distributing any pesticide in the United States, companies are required to register the pesticide with EPA and ensure that the registered pesticide is properly labeled.

??Companies must provide additional data before a legal claim can be made that a product protects public health. The label of all EPA-registered products must bear the EPA registration number, along with directions for use and safety precautions.

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