The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement on October 15, 2020, a settlement with Electrolux Home Products, Inc., to resolve alleged violations of the Federal Insecticides, Fungicides, and Rodenticides Act (FIFRA). As part of the settlement, Electrolux will pay a civil penalty in the amount of $6,991,400.
EPA Says Settlement Resolves Allegations That Electrolux Imported Unregistered Pesticides in Violation of FIFRA Section 12(a)(1)(A) and Failed to File Required Notice of Arrival in violation of Section 12(a)(2)(N) of FIFRA. ). According to the EPA, Electrolux imported approximately 420,000 Frigidaire brand dehumidifiers and air conditioners that contained filters incorporating unregistered nanosilver and were labeled and marketed with pesticide claims. The claims included “bacterial filter” and “helps eliminate bacteria in the air that can make it difficult to breathe”. The EPA has worked with US Customs and Border Protection to prevent unregistered pesticide products from entering the US market. Electrolux agreed to remove filters with the unregistered nanosilver, systematically replacing filters made with nanosilver, and removed pesticide claims online and on the box for products it had imported, as well as some products additional already in the United States. The EPA states that to date, Electrolux has brought more than 500,000 air conditioners and dehumidifiers into compliance.
The EPA notes that applicants for pesticide registration are required to submit efficacy data to support any public health claims they intend to make for their pesticide products. Before the EPA can register a pesticide, it must determine that no unreasonable adverse effects on human health and the environment will occur when the pesticide product is used according to its label directions. According to the EPA, “[t]Only nanosilver pesticides currently registered with the EPA are approved solely for incorporation into textiles to protect those items themselves from antimicrobial pests such as mold and bacteria that can cause deterioration, discoloration or odors. No nanosilver pesticides are registered with the EPA for use in household appliances to disinfect ambient air or protect user health.
©2022 Bergeson & Campbell, CPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 295