The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today said it has stopped several shipments of an illegal health product – Virus Shut Out — from entering U.S. Pacific ports due to violations of federal pesticide laws.
The EPA said said Virus Shut Out, a product imported from Japan and Hong Kong through U.S. ports in Honolulu and Guam, is not registered with the agency, nor has its safety and efficacy against viruses been evaluated. Also, its labels, including directions for use, are not provided in English as required by law.
The product’s online advertising materials, which market it as a badge with chlorine dioxide worn around the neck to provide a barrier, also contain misleading clams about its safety and effectiveness, the EPA said.
“It is critical that people only use EPA-registered disinfectants and follow label directions for proper use,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud in a news release. “EPA will not tolerate companies selling illegal disinfectants and making false or misleading public health claims during this pandemic crisis.”
Upon EPA’s request, Amazon has also removed the product from its online marketplace. The agency is also working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to deny entry to the illegal product, and both will continue monitoring for products with illegal pesticidal claims.
Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, products that claim to kill or repel bacteria or germs are considered pesticides, and therefore must be registered with the EPA prior to distribution or sale. The agency will not register a pesticide until it has been determined that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the label directions.
The EPA warns that products not registered by the agency can be harmful to human health, cause adverse effects, and may not be effective against the spread of germs.