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EPA Seeks Public Input on Newly Designed Graphic for Bug Repellent Labels/New graphic will help consumers make informed choices to protect their health

Release Date: 11/06/2013
Contact Information: Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7849 (news media only) 202-564-4355; EN ESPAÑOL: Lina Younes 202-564-9924; 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a Federal Register Notice seeking public input on a new insect repellent graphic for skin-applied insect repellent product labels. The graphic, which may be applied voluntarily by manufacturers, will provide consumers with important health information including the estimated number of hours a product will repel potentially harmful insects, like mosquitoes and ticks, when used as directed.

“EPA is working to create a system that does for bug repellents what SPF labeling did for sunscreens,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “By providing vital health information to consumers, this new graphic will help parents, hikers and the general public better protect themselves from serious health problems caused by mosquito and tick bites.”

Current labeling of skin-applied insect repellent products does not allow consumers to easily identify the insects repelled by a product and the amount of time the product remains effective. Over the past four years, EPA has held focus groups and worked with manufacturers and others to create the new graphic, which will display consumer information in a more prominent and standardized format. The graphic will only be placed on insect repellent products that are applied directly to the skin.

Effective insect repellents can protect against serious mosquito and tick-borne diseases. In the United States, mosquitoes can transmit diseases like St. Louis encephalitis and West Nile virus. Ticks can transmit serious diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Ehrlichiosis. Using the right insect repellent and taking other preventive actions can discourage bites from ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects.

Companies will be able to request approval to use this graphic through the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) registration process.

View the FR Notice, graphic and additional information: