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EPA SETTLES WITH HUNTER FAN COMPANY OF MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE FOR THE SALE OF AN UNREGISTERED PESTICIDE, A MISBRANDED PESTICIDE AND MISBRANDED PESTICIDAL DEVICES
Release Date: 10/15/1999
Contact Information: Mark Bloeth, Pesticides Section, 404-562-9013 Alan Dion, Office of Legal Support, 404-562-9587 Wesley Lambert, Media Relations 404-562-8316
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the settlement of an administrative enforcement action against Hunter Fan Company, Memphis, Tennessee, for alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The settlement requires Hunter Fan Company to pay a $105,600 penalty and make changes to the labels and packaging of some of their humidifier and air purifier products.
As a result of competitor complaints and a referral from EPA Region 7 in mid-1997,
EPA Region 4 directed the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the Mississippi Department of Agriculture & Commerce to conduct product inspections relating to Hunter Fan Company’s “The Healthy Humidifier plus”. Information obtained from these participating state agencies led to an EPA investigation in November of 1997. In October of 1998, EPA Region 4 in conjunction with EPA’s Headquarters Office of Enforcement and Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances determined that “The Healthy Humidifier plus” was an unregistered pesticide because the product made unqualified antimicrobial claims and public health pesticidal claims for sterilization. In November of 1998, EPA Region 4 issued a Stop, Sale, Use or Removal Order (SSURO). Under FIFRA, all pesticide products, including those used for antimicrobial purposes, must be registered with the EPA before they can be sold legally or distributed in the United States.
During the EPA investigation a misbranded air purifying product also was identified. Hunter Fan Company’s “HEPAtech Air Purification System” product line was determined to be misbranded pesticidal devices requiring an EPA establishment registration number appear on the products which identify the producing establishment.
Hunter Fan Company met with EPA in December of 1998 to work on interim labeling revisions and placards with qualifying language for “The Healthy Humidifier plus” in order for EPA to lift the SSURO. After negotiations and several Amended SSUROs, EPA reached an agreement on a completely revised label for the “The Healthy Humidifier Plus” which now is called “The Care-Free Humidifier plus.” Under the Consent Agreement and Final Order, the Hunter Fan Company will introduce “The Care-Free Humidifier plus” into the marketplace by November 15, 1999, and will begin distributing the revised “HEPAtech Air Purification System” packaging by that date as well.