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Los Angeles company ordered to stop selling unregistered pesticides

Release Date: 9/20/2005
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815, Cell: (213) 798-1404

Company claimed product controlled fungus and toxic molds; sold in California and Hawaii

LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered a Los Angeles, Calif., business to stop selling and distributing two unregistered pesticides, "MoldWash" and "MoldWash Household," products that claim to control fungus and toxic molds.

"When an unregistered product claims to kill mold and mildew, consumers might falsely believe they are protecting themselves against serious health problems," said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in the EPA's Pacific Southwest Office.

MoldWash Bottle The label and promotional materials for "MoldWash" and "MoldWash Household" claimed that the products could remove mildew and mold -- including "black mold" -- from household surfaces. Claims included: "eliminates dangerous molds such as stachybotrys and aspergillus; "proven to kill 99.9 percent of most molds in less than 5 minutes; and "prevents, removes, & provides protection against mold growth."

In May, 2005, investigators from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation discovered that Morwear Manufacturing, Inc., located at 620 Lamar Ave. in Los Angeles, sold and distributed the two unregistered pesticide products. The company now faces possible fines of up to $6,500 per offense.

Inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture also found "MoldWash" being sold in Waipahu, located on the island of Oahu.

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, products claiming to prevent, destroy, or repel pests, including molds and fungus, are considered pesticides and must be registered with the EPA.

During the EPA's comprehensive pre-market registration process, a company must first provide studies that show that the product does not pose unreasonable risks to humans or the environment. The company must show 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.

For more information on antimicrobial pesticides, please visit: .