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EPA Settles with Medline Industries for Sale or Distribution of Unregistered Pesticides

09/19/2018
Contact Information: 
Francisco Arcaute (arcaute.francisco@epa.gov)
312-886-7613, 312-898-2042 cell

For Immediate Release  No. 18-OPA53

EPA Settles with Medline Industries for Sale or Distribution of
Unregistered Pesticides

CHICAGO (Sept. 19, 2018) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an agreement with Medline Industries of Northfield, Ill., that resolves allegations that the company violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) on 1,291 occasions by selling or distributing an unregistered pesticide. Medline has agreed to pay a $4,930,000 administrative penalty for the alleged violations.

“The sale and use of unregistered pesticides pose serious threats to public health in our communities,” said Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp. “Companies must ensure that the pesticides they distribute or sell are registered with the EPA with approved label instructions so that they can be used safely and effectively.”

EPA conducted an inspection at Medline’s Northfield headquarters and documented the distribution or sale of Micro-Kill 70 Isopropyl Wipes to hospitals, clinics, hospice centers, and other healthcare facilities nationwide.

Because of claims that Medline made in the marketing and labeling of Micro-Kill 70 Isopropyl Wipes, the product should have been registered as a pesticide with the EPA. The use of unregistered pesticides in healthcare facilities is potentially dangerous because such products have not been determined to be effective against the sorts of pathogens found in these settings, nor do they provide directions for use that have been approved by the EPA.

In February 2018, EPA issued a “stop sale, use, or removal order” to Medline. The same month, in accordance with the order, the company stopped distributing or selling Micro-Kill 70 Isopropyl Wipes. Since that time, Medline has changed the product’s name to Touch Screen Cleaning Wipes and the label clearly states that the product should only be used to clean dirt, grime and smudges from touch screens and energized equipment. Medline notified its customers that Micro-Kill 70 Isopropyl Wipes should not be used for disinfection purposes. Medline also offered to provide new Touch Screen Cleaning Wipes labels to customers with remaining stocks of Micro-Kill 70 Isopropyl Wipes.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act helps safeguard the public by ensuring that antimicrobial pesticides are determined to be effective and are used, stored and disposed of safely, consistent with approved label directions. Pesticide registration and labeling requirements protect public health and the environment by minimizing risks associated with the production, handling and application of pesticides.

For more information, please visit: www.epa.gov/pesticides.

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