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EPA settles with Qantas Airways for importing unregistered disinfectant products in Honolulu and Los Angeles

Contact Information: 
Joshua Alexander (

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with Qantas Airways for violations of federal pesticide law. The company, based in Australia with business operations in Honolulu and Los Angeles, illegally imported into the United States multiple shipments of an unregistered product intended to disinfect drinking water. The airline also failed to notify EPA of a shipment of a cleaning disinfectant. The company has agreed to pay a $100,000 civil penalty.

“Unregistered imported pesticides can be harmful to public health and the environment,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “EPA and U.S. Custom and Border Protection work closely to ensure imports comply with environmental regulations”.

As an important element of its mission of protecting public health, EPA works with U.S. Customs and Border Protection on a number of fronts to identify and block entry of illegal products. In this case, Qantas Airways imported a drinking water disinfectant in multiple shipments into the United States. The product Elsil Drinking Water Purifier, made by Elsan Ltd., was not registered as required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which prohibits the distribution or sale of unregistered pesticides. As the product was not EPA-registered, neither its public health claims or potential effects on human health and environment have been evaluated. The company also failed to file required documents stating that it was importing pesticides into the United States for all shipments of Elsil Drinking Water Purifier and one shipment of Calla 1452 Neutral Disinfectant Cleaner.

Under FIFRA, disinfectant products that claim to kill or repel viruses, bacteria or germs are considered pesticides and must be registered with the EPA prior to distribution or sale. Public health claims can only be made regarding products that have been properly tested and are registered with the EPA. The agency will not register a pesticide until it has been determined that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the label directions. Products not registered by EPA can be harmful to human health, cause adverse effects, and may not be effective against the spread of germs.

To view the most up-to-date list of EPA-registered disinfectant products, visit

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