Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order issued to Electrolux Home Products, Inc.
On May 27, 2020, U.S. EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance issued a Stop Sale, Use or Removal Order (SSURO) to Electrolux Home Products, Inc. (“Electrolux”), directing the company to immediately stop the sale, use, or removal of dehumidifier and air conditioner products marketed with pesticidal claims and manufactured with filters containing nanosilver. EPA issued the SSURO based on its reason to believe Electrolux had imported these pesticide products that had not been registered with the Agency.
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Electrolux Home Products, Inc. (“Electrolux”), headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, designs, manufactures, sells and distributes appliances and other products for kitchen, laundry and other uses. It is a subsidiary of AB Electrolux, based in Stockholm, Sweden.
Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), all pesticide products, with minor exceptions, must be registered with EPA before being distributed or sold in the United States. A “pesticide product” is a pesticide in the particular form (including composition, packaging, and labeling) in which the pesticide is, or is intended to be, distributed or sold, and includes any physical apparatus used to deliver or apply the pesticide if distributed or sold with the pesticide. FIFRA defines “pesticide” to include any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest.
FIFRA defines “to distribute or sell” to include the acts of distributing, shipping, selling, and offering for sale, among others. Section 17 of FIFRA, and the regulations implementing that provision, require that importers of pesticides and devices regulated by FIFRA file a Notice of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices (“NOA”), in either paper or electronic form.
EPA has the authority under FIFRA section 13(a) to issue a SSURO to any person who owns, controls, or has custody of a pesticide or device that EPA has reason to believe, on the basis of inspection or tests, is in violation of FIFRA, or has been or is intended to be distributed or sold in violation of FIFRA. After receipt of such order no person shall sell, use, or remove the pesticide or device described in the order except in accordance with the provisions in the order. Under FIFRA section 14(a), EPA may assess civil penalties to any person that has unlawfully distributed or sold unregistered pesticides.
Basis for the Order
On or about January 16, 2020, EPA Region 4 discovered Electrolux had imported Frigidaire-brand dehumidifier products through the Port of Savannah that were claimed on the frigidaire.com website to provide an antimicrobial benefit and were claimed on the packaging to contain an “antibacterial filter.” No NOA had been filed for the products.
From that date through the end of April 2020, several other EPA Regions discovered similar shipments at many different ports around the country of Electrolux dehumidifiers and air conditioner products with the same claims, through in-person inspections and by reviewing import filings and website claims. Upon review of the information gathered by the EPA Regions, and information submitted by Electrolux about its products, EPA was able to determine that the products being imported contained filters manufactured with nanosilver, which were intended to have a pesticidal effect on bacteria and improve air quality for the consumer. EPA determined that these products were pesticides that must be registered before being distributed or sold.
Based on EPA’s reason to believe Electrolux was importing, and therefore, distributing, unregistered pesticide products, the Agency issued a SSURO on May 27, 2020.
Summary of the Order
Pursuant to the authority in FIFRA section 13(a), EPA ordered Electrolux to immediately stop the sale, use, or removal of the products described in the SSURO, except as provided in the SSURO. To facilitate Electrolux’s plan to bring the products into compliance, the SSURO provides for all movements necessary of any subject products under Electrolux’s ownership, control or custody, for the purposes of consolidating them for rework (the nanosilver filters will be replaced with non-substance filters, and the claims will be removed). Once products are certified as being reworked successfully, the SSURO provides for their release into commerce. The SSURO shall remain in effect unless and until revoked, terminated, suspended or modified in writing by EPA.
For more information on the use of stop sale, use, or removal orders.
For more information, contact:
U.S. EPA Headquarters
William Jefferson Clinton Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20460