EPA Levies Hefty Fine on Calif. Company for Making Untested Health Claims
EPA has fined Monterey Park, Calif.-based Kinetic Solutions Inc. for allegedly selling unregistered and misbranded pesticides and making unproven claims about their effectiveness.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined Monterey Park, Calif.-based Kinetic Solutions Inc. – doing business as Rabbit Air – $82,400 for allegedly selling unregistered and misbranded pesticides and making unproven claims about their effectiveness.
EPA maintains that Kinetic Solutions Inc. made illegal public health claims for its air purifier, branded “Nano Silver Pre filter,” and the filter’s ability to control more than 650 types of bacteria, a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. In addition, its air purifiers did not list a valid EPA Establishment Number on the packaging, a federal requirement that helps regulators keep track of where pesticides and devices are produced.
“More and more manufacturers are touting ‘nano’ particles as antimicrobial,” said Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator of EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “EPA takes unsubstantiated claims very seriously, and as with the case against Kinetic Solutions, we will take action against unregistered products.”
“Unless these products are properly tested and registered with EPA,” said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA's communities and ecosystems division director for the Pacific Southwest region, “consumers will have no information about whether their public health claims are accurate.”
During 2009, Kinetic Solutions Inc. distributed or sold air purifiers containing the Nano Silver Pre Filter. The violations were discovered through an online search and subsequent inspection by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. According to Kinetic Solutions Inc., the Nano Silver Pre Filter incorporates a substance called "nano silver" or "silver nano ions,” a substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate bacteria and mold. Products that kill or repel bacteria or germs are considered pesticides, and must be registered with the EPA before distribution or sale. According to EPA, the Nano Silver Pre Filter is a pesticide and was not registered as such as required by federal law.
EPA will not register a pesticide until it has been tested to show that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the directions. Consumers should be careful to look for the EPA registration number printed on product labels, and to follow the directions for safe use.