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PLEASANTON, Calif. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday fined Safeway, Inc. here $675,000 for allegedly selling unregistered household cleaning products at stores in Hawaii and California.
Disinfectants and products that control mold are classified as pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, which regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States. Both products make pesticidal claims, which would require registration as pesticides with the EPA. All EPA-registered products must bear the EPA registration number, along with directions for use and safety precautions.
_"Our pesticide registration rules require products claiming to disinfect, kill, or control germs and pests such as mold, be registered as a pesticide," explained Katherine Taylor, associate director of the EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division of EPA Southwest Regional Office. "Proper registration of pesticides ensures that labels include use directions and safety precautions designed to limit risks to human health and the environment."
In 2005 a Hawaii Department of Agriculture inspector found Safeway Heavy Duty Toilet Bowl Cleaner being offered at a Safeway store on the island of Kauai, and last year a California Department of Pesticide Regulations inspector found Safeway Liquid Cleanser with Bleach being sold at a Vons store in Grover Beach.