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Wood treatment companies violate federal pesticide laws intended to protect human health

Release Date: 02/27/2013
Contact Information: Suzanne Skadowski, EPA Region 10 Communications, 206-553-6689,

(Seattle – February 27, 2013) Gardner-Fields, Inc. of Tacoma, Washington and IBC Manufacturing Co. of Memphis, Tennessee will pay fines for violating federal pesticide laws, according to separate settlements announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"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."

* Gardner-Fields, Inc. produced, sold, and distributed four IBC Manufacturing Co. wood preservatives under its own brand names with outdated labels. The four products are ATCO Woodlast 1420, ATCO Woodlast 2c 1423, ATCO Woodlast 2 RTU 1422, and ATCO Shakelast 1441. Gardner-Fields agreed to pay a penalty of $35,336 to settle the violations.

* IBC Manufacturing Co., the owner of the products, allowed the wood preservatives to be distributed and sold with outdated labels, by failing to inform Gardner-Fields, Inc. of important label changes required by EPA. IBC Manufacturing agreed to pay a penalty of $265,000 to settle the violations.

During an inspection in September 2008, EPA found that IBC Manufacturing and Gardner-Fields had produced, distributed, and sold four wood preservatives with outdated labels in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, wood preservatives are considered pesticides that must be registered with the EPA. Pesticides must also be distributed and sold with proper labeling and instructions that include important warning and caution statements about the product and detailed directions on the proper use of the product.

Before a pesticide is registered, the producer must provide data from tests conducted according to EPA guidelines to ensure that the product will not harm people’s health. The EPA examines the ingredients, how the product will be used, and its potential human health and environmental effects. Distributors and retailers are responsible for ensuring that all pesticides distributed and sold fully comply with the law.

More about EPA’s enforcement of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act: