BECQ warns public of misbranded disinfectants

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Posted on Mar 20 2020

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With the heightened call for sanitation and disinfection to prevent the entry and spread of the novel coronavirus in the CNMI, the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality is warning against the use of misbranded disinfectant products that could potentially harm the community.

Last Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a list of EPA-registered disinfectant products that are qualified for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The list, which can be accessed at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2, is searchable, and also includes the product’s active ingredients and the amount of time the surface should remain wet “to be effective against the given pathogen.”

Only pesticides that are actively registered by EPA are allowed for import, sale, and use in the CNMI.

According to BECQ, the products on the list may be sold under different “brand names” but if they have the same EPA registration number, they are the same product. Users must ensure that the directions for use on the product label are followed for proper use and effectiveness.

“One of BECQ’s main priorities is to protect public health and the environment from harmful pesticides and chemicals. The use of misbranded/adulterated pesticide products places our community, especially our children and elderly, at risk of being exposed to toxic substances and potential harm,” the public notice reads. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as our federal counterpart, has expressed a high-level concern of the possibility of manufacturers selling and distributing ‘disinfectant products,’ making false pesticidal claims about the coronavirus.”

To report misbranded items, or for more information, call or leave a message with the BECQ Pesticides Branch at 664-8512, or visit the BECQ website at www.deg.gov.mp.

BECQ will take enforcement actions against markets selling misbranded or adulterated pesticides.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com

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