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EPA Orders Stop Sale of Unregistered Hot Tub Chemicals

Release Date: 12/7/1999
Contact Information: Ruth Podems, (215) 814-5540

Ruth Podems, (215) 814-5540

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. and PHOENIX, Ariz. --The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a "stop sale" order to two parties -- Ecosystems Distributing of Ellicott City, Md., and Kelly Marks of Phoenix, Ar. -- requiring them to immediately stop selling or distributing two unregistered pesticide products -- The Natural Hot Tub and The Natural Purge and Detox. Both products are promoted as a Anon-chemical@ way to eliminate bacteria and viruses from hot tubs.

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), products that are marketed with "pesticidal" claims must be registered with EPA and comply with the law’s labeling regulations. These requirements are designed to ensure safe use of pesticides, and avoid the health and environmental threats posed by false, misleading, or unverifiable pesticidal claims.

According to EPA, these products are manufactured and distributed by Kelly Marks of Phoenix, doing business as "Star Lab." Ecosystems also allegedly distributes two products through the Internet, at its location in Maryland, and through other hot tub dealers.

Their labels claim that the products eliminate "all bacteria and viruses," and contain "a set of 'master' enzymes that have been able to break apart every harmful germ and virus we’ve tested them against." Because they make these pesticidal claims, they must be registered with the EPA and comply with FIFRA labeling requirements.

The November 18, 1999 order was effective immediately upon receipt by the parties. In a recent meeting with EPA, Ecosystems has agreed to stop making pesticidal claims for these products.