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EPA Warns of Illegal, Harmful Pesticide Sales Online

By Kirsten E. Silven - 22 Mar 2011 2:0:0 GMT
EPA Warns of Illegal, Harmful Pesticide Sales Online

More than 2,800 online shoppers across the US have been warned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about potentially serious risks that are linked to a banned substance found in an ant killing product that has been sold online at fastpestcontrol.com. Known as Fast Ant Bait, the product contains the pesticide mirex, which was banned during the late 1970s after being associated with reproductive, liver, nerve and skin damage.

According to Steve Owens, assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, ''Illegal pesticides are often much more toxic than approved pesticides. When the EPA takes a pesticide off the market, it means that pesticide was not safe. Consumers should use only EPA-registered pesticides and always follow the label directions to ensure their safety.''

The EPA was recently made aware of problems associated with the ant control product after the state's Department of Health reported that a Washington woman got sick after using the pesticide to solve an ant problem in her home.

After the further investigation, the EPA decided to take action and begin working to track down and issue warnings to the three online companies that have been processing orders for and shipping the product into the US, including 2Checkout.com, Inc., CCNow, Inc. and eBay Inc. The companies were ordered to stop importing the product, which is being produced in and shipped from China.

All three of the companies agreed to cooperate fully and immediately stopped taking orders for products being shipped from fastpestcontrol.com. In addition, they supplied the EPA with the contact information and names of all customers who had purchased the products. The agency has attempted to contact all affected parties via a detailed letter to let them know about the dangers of exposure to the pesticide, as well as to advise them of the correct methods for disposal and the proper steps to take if exposure to the pesticide had already occurred.

For more information on harmful pesticides, contact the National Pesticide information Center at 1.800.858.7378, or the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Information Center at 1.888.422.8737.