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EPA settles for $57,200 with Phoenix salon products distributor for allegedly selling unregistered manicure and pedicure disinfectants

Release Date: 05/03/2006
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, 415/947-4248,

(San Francisco, Calif. -- 05/03/2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently settled with Maxim, L.L.C. of Phoenix for $57,200 for violations of federal pesticide regulations.

photo of a fingernail being painted red The EPA alleged the company, located at 1101 West Melinda Lane, sold and distributed products “Pedi Redi Plus” and “Satin-ize” to various manicure salons. The products claimed to kill or control germs and bacteria on manicure dishes and pedicure spas. Spa disinfectants are defined as “pesticides,” which require registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. However, neither product was registered with the EPA.

“Companies must be aware that products intended to kill or control germs must be registered as pesticides with the EPA,” said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. “Without EPA registration, we have no information about the effectiveness of these products. This poses a health risk because people may falsely believe the product is preventing infections caused by bacteria or viruses.”

Both products, which were distributed or sold nationwide, claimed to contain the ingredient Chloramine-T, and referred to it as a hospital-grade disinfectant and germicide. The products also made claims of sanitizing the water, fingers, fingernails and manicure dishes.

The Arizona Department of Agriculture conducted the inspection that uncovered the alleged violations, based on a lead received by the EPA Pacific Southwest Region’s Pesticide Program office.

Federal law requires that before selling or distributing a pesticide in the United States, companies must register the pesticide with the EPA. The company must show additional data before a legal claim can be made that a product protects public health. The label of all EPA registered products must bear the EPA registration number, along with directions for use and safety precautions.