SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) - Federal pesticide laws were violated by two companies, according to a separate settlements announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
According to the settlement announced Feb. 27, Gardner-Fields, Inc. of Tacoma, Wash., has agreed to pay a penalty of $35,336 to settle violations for the production, distribution, and sale of four IBC Manufacturing Co. wood preservatives under its own brand name with outdated labels.
The owner of the products, IBC Manufacturing of Memphis, Tenn., allowed for the wood preservatives to be distributed and sold with the incorrect labels. By failing to inform Gardner-Fields of the outdated labels, which is required by the EPA, they have agreed to pay a penalty of $265,000 to settle.
"Companies that sell or distribute mislabeled pesticides put people's health and the environment at risk," said Ed Kowalski, Director of EPA Region 10 Compliance and Enforcement. "Without proper labeling and safety instructions, users can unintentionally misapply pesticides and may lack important information for emergency first aid."
The violations of the outdated labels were found during an EPA inspection in September 2008.
According to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, wood preservatives are considered pesticides that must be registered with the EPA. Pesticides must be distributed and sold with appropriate labeling and to include important warnings and cautions, and detailed instructions for use.
To ensure the product will not harm people's health, the producer must provide data from tests conducted according to the EPA guidelines. Then the ingredients are examined by the EPA and assessments are made on how the product will be used and its potential human health and environmental effects. Thereafter the responsibility lies with the distributors and retailers that all pesticide sales fully comply with the law.
The four products mislabeled by Gardner-Fields are ATCO Woodlast 1420, ATCO Woodlast 2c 1423, ATCO Woodlast 2 RTU 1422, and ATCO Shakelast 1441.