News Releases from Region 09
U.S. EPA Acts to Protect the Public from Unregistered “Virus Shut Out” Product Imported into Honolulu and Guam
Unsubstantiated claims to protect against viruses threaten public health
HONOLULU – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it has prevented several shipments of an illegal health product from entering U.S. Pacific ports under federal pesticide laws. The item, Virus Shut Out, is not registered with the EPA. Therefore, its safety and efficacy against viruses have not been evaluated. In addition, its labeling – including directions for use – is not provided in the English language as required by law, and on-line advertising materials contain misleading claims about its safety and effectiveness.
EPA has been working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to deny entry to the illegal product, which is being imported from Japan and Hong Kong through U.S. ports in Honolulu and Guam. EPA and CBP will continue monitoring for products with illegal pesticidal claims. In addition, EPA has reached out to Amazon to remove the product from their online marketplace. Amazon has taken this step.
"It is critical that people only use EPA-registered disinfectants and follow label directions for proper use," said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. "EPA will not tolerate companies selling illegal disinfectants and making false or misleading public health claims during this pandemic crisis."
Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, products that claim to kill or repel 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.
EPA has released an expanded list of EPA-registered disinfectant products that have qualified for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The list contains nearly 300 additional products—including products that went through the expedited review process for emerging viral pathogens.
To view the most up-to-date list of EPA-registered disinfectant products, visit https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
For more information on EPA resources on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19): https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/coronavirus
For more information on pesticides, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides