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Release Date: 7/3/1996
Contact Information: Dave Schmidt, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1578

    (San Francisco)--  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced that Guardian Protection Products, a Modesto pesticide formulator and distributor, has agreed to voluntarily recall unregistered pesticides sold to furniture and department stores under the brand names "Miracle Seal," "Miracle Guard," and "Guardian."  

     The pesticide products are used to treat furniture materials, such as fabrics, wood, vinyl, and leather, to hinder growth of mold and mildew.  The pesticides were sold not only to department store chains, which used them to treat furniture prior to sale, but also to consumers who bought furniture.  

     Any person who still has containers of these products should call the store where they were purchased, for instructions on returning them.  The products contain tributyltin, which is poisonous to aquatic life.  Unused pesticides or other chemical products should not be disposed of in any sink, drain, toilet, sewer, ditch, or waterway.  Anyone wishing to report health problems that they believe are related to use of Guardian's products should call Marcy Katzin at U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1097.  

     The action followed U.S. EPA's earlier orders, issued April 1, to Guardian and two department store chains to stop sale and use of the products.  U.S. EPA issued the original stop/sale use order to Guardian Protection Products; the May Co.; and Heilig- Myers, owner of Foley's Department Stores.  Today U.S. EPA issued a revised order to allow shipment of the pesticide for purposes of the recall, and issued an additional stop sale/use order to Schottenstein Department Stores, which owns the Value City chain.  Under the new orders, these companies must report the results of their recall efforts to U.S. EPA.  Guardian's plans for disposal of the product are subject to U.S. EPA's prior approval.

     The recalled pesticides are mixtures that contain a legally- registered pesticide, MiraFresh MI-50, plus other ingredients.  Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), pesticide makers must put every pesticide through an extensive series of tests, tailored to specific intended uses, to measure the product's effects on human health and the environment.  Although MiraFresh MI-50 went through this registration process, Guardian's products containing MiraFresh MI-50 did not, and are therefore illegal.