EPA orders Philadelphia company to stop making inaccurate health claims about pesticide
03/31/2021 Contact Information: EPA Region 3 Press Office
PHILADELPHIA (March 31, 2021) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered ViaClean Technologies, operating in Philadelphia, to stop marketing the pesticide BioProtect RTU with claims that it is effective against surfaces from public health related pathogens such as the coronavirus.
Although the product is registered to inhibit the growth of “non-public health” microorganisms, it is not registered to address “public health” pathogens. EPA is concerned that customers may have used this product as protection from a virus – such as the coronavirus — in lieu of other EPA-approved disinfection methods.
“Improperly marketed pesticides, especially during a pandemic, may cause injury to consumers,” said Acting EPA Mid-Atlantic Region Administrator Diana Esher. “EPA remains vigilant and will continue to protect the health and safety of Americans from products that have false or misleading public health claims.”
ViaClean provided two BioProtect RTU fact sheets containing public health claims to at least one customer, including the statement that the pesticide can be used to kill “germs.”
Some online distributors, cleaning services, and end-recipients of BioProtect RTU were also making unsubstantiated claims that this product is effective against pathogens, germs, disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and/or the novel coronavirus for up to 90 days.
EPA issued a Stop Sale, Use or Removal Order to prevent BioProtectRTU from continuing to sell this product with public health claims that have not been substantiated through the pesticide registration process.
Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), products that claim to kill or repel bacteria or germs, including disinfectants, are considered pesticides and must be registered with the EPA. Public health claims can only be made regarding products that have been properly tested and are registered with the EPA.
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. List-N contains over 460 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://www.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://www.epa.gov/coronavirus
For more information on pesticides, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides
ESG Safe staff searched the internet to learn more about the referenced products. Since the specific literature in question is unknown, it’s hard to discern whether any literature on the web now is related to the stop order. The image shown contains content that was publicly obtained from an internet reseller. It has the word germs but there’s now way to know if it contributed to the violation. Note, disinfectants are regulated by the EPA under the category pesticides as there is no specific category for disinfectants.
Products distributed by ESG Safe always meet government requirements and are verifiable on various agency web sites.